The Apple Of God's Eye

September 29, 2009

What Is The Definition Of "Mingled Seed?"

What is the definition of “mingled seed” in the command, “thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed,” found in Leviticus 19:19, and Deuteronomy 22:9?

Notice the reason for this command in Deuteronomy 22:9, “… lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, BE DEFILED.’ God gave this law for our protection! He does not want us to defile or mix the produce that we grow, nor the seed that we save for growing future crops.

Just to make sure the point is clear, lets state a few specific examples. You should not plant cucumbers near watermelons because they will cross and produce a perversion. Likewise, the various members of the muskmelon and cantaloupe family will mix with pumpkins and certain types of squash. They should not be planted near one another. But there is nothing wrong with planting peas or beans among your corn, or planting two pasture grasses together. In neither of these cases would one crop “defile” or mix with the other in any way.

In the beginning God caused each plant and animal to reproduce after its own kind (Gen. 1:11,21,24 ). God twice commands us to follow that example instead of mingling our crops (Lev. 19:19 and Deut. 22:9 ). We should plant those seeds that will reproduce after their own kind.

Hybrids that produce confusion and an inferior quality after the first year should NOT be used. “…God is not the author of confusion…” (I Cor. 14:33). Many scriptures show us that God wants His people to produce and own quality products.

We should use good quality seed that will produce a consistent good quality year after year. Good seed planted in land that is properly worked will produce strong, healthy plants that bear profitable crops. Many of our seeds have come down from crosses, but have had the inferiorities selectively bred out, so that we would not know whether a particular strain of produce has come from a mixed, or a pure, past. In such cases, it is permissible to use seed that may have come from a cross in past years, if the inferiority has been eliminated by wise selection of seed, so that the seed produces a pure crop of its own kind.

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Is "First Day Of The Week" The Same As Sunday?

There is a theory circulated among certain Sunday-keeping groups that Sunday became the Sabbath after the resurrection of Christ. As supposed proof, they mistranslate the original Greek phrase, usually rendered “first day of the week,” as “first of the sabbaths.” They claim that the first Sunday after the resurrection became the first “Christian Sabbath” — and that Saturday was the “Jewish Sabbath.” This idea is absolutely FALSE!

No competent Greek scholars accept such a translation. But let the Bible itself disprove this fable. If the Sunday after the resurrection were the first “Christian Sabbath” — which it never could be — then any Sunday thereafter could not be the “first of the sabbaths,” but would of necessity be either the “second or third … or hundredth of the sabbaths!”

Acts 20:7 recorded of  56 A.D. — 25 years after the resurrection! Yet the same original Greek phrase, translated “first day of the week” in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, occurs here! This could not be the “first of the sabbaths” 25 years after the resurrection — since, by their theory, the first of the “Christian sabbaths” would have already occurred 25 years before the event recorded in Acts 20:7. Obviously the Greek cannot mean what they say it does!

Now turn to I Corinthians 16:2. This letter was written in the late winter of 55 A.D. — almost 24 years after the resurrection — and the same Greek expression occurs here. This certainly was not the “first of the Christian sabbaths!” It would be 24 years too late! The answer is that the only proper idiomatic rendering of the Greek phrase is “first day of the week,” not “first of the sabbaths.”

But, it may be objected, is not the Greek word sάbbaton, translated “week,” the same word often translated “sabbath”? Of course it is, but the inspired Greek word may also mean “week” — because the sabbath determines the length of the week. The Greeks had two words for “week”: hebdomad and sάbbaton. Only the word sάbbaton is used in the New Testament. It comes from the Hebrew word meaning “rest,” “sabbath,” “week,” “seven.”

In Luke 18:12 the Greek word sάbbaton is translated properly as “week,” not “sabbath.” The Jews fasted “twice in a week,” Monday and Thursday, not “twice on a sabbath.” That would be foolish! This verse alone proves that the Greek word sάbbaton may mean “week.”

But there is even more proof. The English expression “first day of the week” comes from two different Greek idioms. In Mark 16:9, the original Greek is prootee sabbάton. It has only one meaning: “first [day) of [the] week.” In this verse sabbάton is the Greek singular possessive form of sάbbaton — and means “of the week.” Prootee means “first.”

But in all other cases (Mat. 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1, 19; Acts 20:7; I Cor. 16:2) the Greek word sάbbaton, which may mean either “sabbath” or “week,” is in the plural. The Greek expression translated “first day of the week” is, in these verses, mia toon sabbάtoon. It is an idiom and cannot be translated literally into English. It, too, means “the first day of the week,” but it refers to one particular “first day” — the Sunday upon which the wave sheaf was offered — the Sunday AFTER two sabbaths!

Since the Greek word sάbbaton in these verses is in the plural, it may mean either “weeks,” or “sabbaths.” Professor Sophocles, a Greek scholar, indicates in his Lexicon, p. 43, par. 6, that the expression means “[day number] one after the sabbaths.” Which sabbaths? The first high day or annual sabbath and the weekly sabbath falling within the Days of Unleavened Bread! Here is the proof!

The same plural form — sabbάtoon – is found in the Greek Septuagint translation of Leviticus 23:15. In this verse the Greek for “the morrow after the sabbath” is epaύrion toon sabbάtoon and means idiomatically “the day after the sabbaths.” The Greek translators understood that you begin counting Pentecost from the Sunday after the weekly sabbath during the Days of Unleavened Bread. They used the plural word sabbάtoon, meaning “sabbaths,” to make plain that the Sunday on which the wave sheaf was offered followed BOTH the first annual sabbath AND the weekly sabbath in the Days of Unleavened Bread.

In other words, every New Testament writer was making especially plain which particular Sunday followed the resurrection — the Sunday after the two sabbaths, which in that year fell on Thursday and, of course, Saturday. In all these verses the original Greek, loon sabbάtoon, means idiomatically “AFTER the sabbaths” — and cannot be taken literally to mean “of the sabbaths.” It is a Greek idiom which uses the possessive plural with the meaning of “after.” The Greek translation of Leviticus 23:15 proved it!

Even in Acts 20:7 and I Cor. 16:2, the day referred to was the day the wave sheaf was offered. In 56 A.D., when the events in Acts 20 occurred, the Passover occurred on a weekly Sabbath. The Days of Unleavened Bread extended from Sunday through the following Sabbath. The day of the wave-sheaf offering in that year immediately followed the Days of Unleavened Bread. That was the day Paul preached until midnight — beginning Saturday night immediately after the Festival was over (Acts 20:7).

Those with Luke kept the entire Feast in Phillipi. After the feast, Luke and those with him left Phillipi for Troas (Acts 20:6). Paul left Troas on the day the wave sheaf was offered — before Luke arrived at Troas. Luke does not say “when we came together, Paul preached unto us” — he clearly states “when the disciples come together, Paul preached unto them.” Whenever Luke includes himself he uses the “we” form (Acts 20:6, 13).

Some translations incorrectly insert in Acts 20:7 the pronoun “we.” The overwhelming majority of New Testament Greek manuscripts have “they,” not “we.” The original Greek of Acts 20:13 indicated that Paul “had left arrangements,” prior to Luke’s arrival at Troas, for Luke to proceed in ship to Assos in order to pick up Paul.

I Cor. 16:2 also refers to the day the wave sheaf was offered at Jerusalem — just another indication that what was laid in store was fruit of the field, not money in a church offering-plate! The time those Christians began to harvest was “upon the day after the sabbaths” — upon Sunday after the early-morning offering of the wave sheaf.

This precise history, not usually understood, clearly indicates that the New Testament Church continued to observe the sabbath and the annual festivals God gave, and that they always regarded Sunday as a work day.

Source: Good News, 1958

Is Your Religion Offering You A Bailout?

Rev. 12:9 says this world started with Satan deceiving the first humans and he continues to do so to the entire world today. How many people (including organized religion) believe this verse? Does it really encompass the whole world, including the thousands of bickering religions systems in existence today? Of course it does, that’s why it is in the Bible.

II Cor. 4:3 – Scripture says the God of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe (II Cor. 4:3). Now I know that many Christians will say they believe, but do they? Are their actions in tune with what God says in the Bible? Let’s have a deeper look.

This is NOT God’s world or civilization

Despite the facts and evils that fly in our face, there is no good in this present world. America likes to hold itself up as the world’s standard, but despite the blessings of Abraham, this country leads the world in pornographic filth, drug consumption and a host of other evils that make other countries shake their heads.

This is Satan’s world entirely. God, at the present time, has a hands off policy towards mankind. That is why we see unparalleled human suffering.  Jesus came to start a new civilization which will be God’s world (future). God has NOT tried to repair the world and neither is there a power struggle between God and Satan.

When Christ first came to earth, He was a light to the world, but men did not recognize Him because they love darkness (John 3:19). This is not just talking about the Jews, as some commentaries state, but about all men – the entire world. How do I know that all men would have reacted the same way? Because Jer. 17:9 says man’s mind is deceitful above all things. Notice how powerful is Satan’s deception. He has deceived mankind to be incapable of seeing things in a straightforward manner. All are full of shrewd guile, and moved only by motives of self-interest..

After 6000 years, most still think this is a good world. Satan also sees his way as better than God’s, as workable. He is an espouser of change, just not positive change. How can we even know the heart if it is so dangerously sick?

Destruction of this world’s systems?

We usually think of Christ as the “Prince of Peace.” But did you know that your Bible says He is actually coming to make war with man? Has your particular religion ever explained this to you?

Rev 19:15 – “And out of His mouth goes forth a sharp sword, that with it He might smite the nations. And He will shepherd them with an iron rod. And He treads the winepress of the wine of the anger and of the wrath of God Almighty.”

Jesus Christ will actually fight against unrepentant sinning nations. He is coming to destroy the world’s systems of government. Some will say that God cannot do this, as He is love. But notice that Rev. 11:18 says He destroys those who destroy the earth. Man is destructive, not God. He has to put a stop to it or man would wipe himself out. God has to intervene by sending His Son to this earth.

The Pharisees in Christ’s time, much like our leaders today, could not understand that Christ would sit with sinners and not the “supposed righteous.” But He told them that THEY were wrong, and that they needed healing from their spiritual sickness, or their Jer. 17:9 mind (Matt. 9:10-13, Hos. 6:6).

Modern religion offers spiritual bailouts

We hear about bailouts, prop-ups, and rescues for companies today due to financial mismanagement However, all of these fail to address the cause, which is changing what is wrong. That is what Atonement is all about. If we keep destroying the earth, Jesus Christ has to intervene to stop us.

In Heb. 9, Paul spoke to people who knew the symbols, but not the meaning. This is much like the world today. It does not understand the Bible, and neither do religious denominations or groups who think everything will be provided for them – no change necessary, no looking at the cause. Quite simply, their religion offers to bail them out spiritually, to remove their guilt without effort, without repentance, without law keeping, without becoming one with God. This is impossible. Christ will not bear our sins and atone for them if we make no changes. The death of Jesus Christ is not enough to give us salvation, yet religion today worships only a dead Christ on the cross, not a living intercessor. This can only be done by keeping the law of God, because once we come out of sin, an unrepentant life will be of no value to God.

Verses 13-14 of Heb. 9 show a new project, a new way and new world to serve the living God. We have to have a clean slate and washing to move on from the dead works of this world to follow God. In God we live, move and have our being. Our guilt ceases to exist if we repent (Acts 17:28).

The Day of Atonement offers us the opportunity to fast (Lev. 23:29), which is a vivid reminder of being saved from destruction – the ultimate bailout. It is about salvation. Our dollar says in God we trust, yet God is the only one we won’t turn to in humility and prayer so that our guilt might be atoned for.

Our greatest need is for God to reveal our sickness, and then to change it. This is addressing the problem and starting over with what is right. If our sins are not atoned for first, then there can be a special relationship between God and His children (Lev. 23:28).

Humans are wracked with sin and deeply flawed. Sin divides man from God (Isaiah 59:2; Psalm 66:18). It is a chasm between us — a tear in the fabric of the family unity God yearns to share with us. As passionate as God’s love is, it is equaled by the passion of His hatred of sin. He simply will not abide sin.

God’s master plan involves spiritually converting human minds to the point where we come to despise sin and embrace righteousness as He does — in every thought, word and deed. This is the fundamental change required in God’s plan for mankind.

In other words, if we are ever to fulfill God’s purpose for us sinful human beings — if ever the violence set in motion by Lucifer’s rebellion is to be set right — God must institute a process of atonement. Sin must be dealt with; the presence of sin in our lives demands radical action to remove it, expunge it, wipe it out, so that true at-one-ment between man and God can occur.

Is this what your religion teaches, or does it offer a flaccid come-as-you-are doctrine? Only one can be right!

September 28, 2009

The Day of Atonement and Your Future

Scene one: A young woman walks through a semitropical garden filled with beautiful trees loaded with luscious fruit. Everything looks so good — so right.  But is it?

Suddenly she is confronted by a talking serpent who asks about God’s commands. Subtly, the serpent reasons with her until she decides to eat the fruit forbidden her by her Creator. Her husband then follows her example of disobedience.

From that time forward, mankind continues to be subject to Satan’s influence. Consequently, all humans sin and fall short of God’s glory.

Scene two: A young man, once strong and virile, is nailed to a stake. Blood oozes from deep, gaping lacerations in His body, wounds inflicted by a savage beating. Tormentors surround Him, arrogantly jeering, “He can save others, but not Himself!”

But the man’s mind is not on revenge; it is on the ultimate purpose of His suffering, which is to provide the sacrifice necessary for mankind’s salvation.

Finally, after many hours of suffering, death comes suddenly. Three days later He is resurrected. He rejoins His Father, where He serves as High Priest and soon-coming King for all humanity.

Scene three: The earth has been devastated. Plant and aquatic life are almost nonexistent. The human population has been reduced to a small fraction of its former size by the terrifying events of the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord.

Everywhere there is destruction, but there is also hope. Jesus Christ has intervened in world affairs. One obstacle remains — the presence of Satan the devil, mankind’s enemy for 6,000 years.

To eliminate this threat to global peace, an angel is sent to bind Satan. Satan is taken to a place of restraint where he is prohibited from influencing mankind for a thousand years.

Is there a relationship between these scenes? The answer is yes. There is a profound relationship that can be understood by studying the meaning of one of God’s annual festivals — the Day of Atonement.

This Day is commanded

Most professing Christians don’t even know that this Festival of God exists. Many who have heard of it think that it is no longer to be kept. But what does God say?

“And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: ‘Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God…. You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings’ ” (Lev. 23:26-28, 31).

This year the Day of Atonement falls on September 28. Some will reason that this command ceased to be in force after Christ’s crucifixion. Such reasoning is false! Jesus Christ did not come to nail God’s annual Holy Days to the cross (Matt. 5:17-18) .

The fact is that God’s festivals have only begun to be fulfilled. These days picture aspects of God’s plan of salvation (Col. 2:16-17), and must be observed by true Christians.

But what about the ritualistic laws that the Old Testament commanded with festival observance? Are they to be kept, or have they been fulfilled?

The purpose of the physical rituals God gave to ancient Israel was to remind the people of the need for the payment of their sins. The various sacrifices pointed ahead to the sacrifice of One who would come later in history as Savior of all mankind.

So the ritualistic laws were fulfilled by the events leading to and including Christ’s own sacrificial death. Therefore they need not be kept today, nor can they be, as there is no Aaronic priesthood to perform these physical duties (Heb. 9:8-10, 10:1-4, 9-12).

The ritualistic laws are no longer performed, but their various aspects still have symbolic meaning. For each festival, we seek to understand all the festival’s meanings, as revealed in the Bible, and as they relate to salvation.

The Tabernacle and the priesthood

Before we proceed with a study of these rituals and symbols, it is necessary for us to understand some things about the Tabernacle and the priesthood.

After making the covenant agreement with Israel, God told the nation to build a Tabernacle, which is a physical type of God’s habitation in heaven (Ex. 25-27, 30, Heb. 9:23-24). The Tabernacle consisted of an enclosed courtyard, containing an altar for animal sacrifices and a tent.

The tent was divided into two sections by a veil. The section behind the veil was called the “Most Holy” place or “Holiest of All.” The other section was the “holy place” (Ex. 26:33, Heb. 9:3). The most holy place represented God’s throne. Located here was the Ark of the Covenant, which contained the Ten Commandments and other items (Deut. 10:2, 31:26, Ex. 16:33-34, Num. 17:1-10). The lid of the Ark was called the mercy seat; this was where God manifested Himself (Ex. 25:22).

The job of high priest was given to Aaron; his sons served as priests. As time passed, other of his descendants held these positions. As priests, they performed various animal sacrifices and ceremonies on behalf of Israel.

Rituals for Aaron

On the Day of Atonement, special animal sacrifices and ceremonies were conducted. These are explained in Leviticus 16.

This was the only day when Aaron was allowed to enter the most holy place. Before doing this, he had to bathe and dress himself in his priestly garments (Lev. 16:4). Then he had to offer on the altar a bullock as a sin offering for himself.

Once this was completed, he took a censer, a vessel that held burning coals, from the altar and entered the most holy place. He then took incense, an aromatic compound, and placed it on the burning coals. Next he sprinkled blood from the bullock on the mercy seat, which represented God’s throne (verses 11-14).

Why did Aaron do these things? What did they picture? Aaron had to first make atonement for himself as a sinning human before God. The word atonement means “to make at one with.”

Washing himself pictured having his conscience changed to accept God’s standard of righteousness (Heb. 10:22). His linen coat symbolized living a righteous life (Rev. 19:8). The incense pictured prayers ascending to God (Ps. 141:2, Rev. 5:8). The blood represented the way sins are forgiven (Heb. 9:13-14, Rom. 3:25).

Aaron, the high priest, was a type of Jesus Christ, who is now our High Priest (Heb. 3:1). By living a sinless life, Jesus qualified to offer Himself as a sin sacrifice for all humanity through His crucifixion.

After Jesus’ death, the veil in the Temple (the Temple had replaced the Tabernacle) was torn in two from top to bottom (Matt. 27:50-51). The torn veil represented the fact that we are now allowed direct contact with God the Father through prayer (Heb. 10:19-22, John 16:23).

This contact is something that those living before Christ’s resurrection did not have; their access was limited to the Word of God, the God of the Old Testament who became Jesus Christ.

The two goats

Now that Aaron had completed sacrifices for himself, what happened next?

“The two goats he must place in front of the Eternal at the entrance to the Trysting tent [Tabernacle]; Aaron shall cast lots over the goats, one lot for the Eternal and the other for Azazel the demon; the goat that falls by lot to the Eternal shall be brought forward and offered as a sin-offering, but the goat that falls by lot to Azazel shall be set free in presence of the Eternal, that Aaron may perform expiatory rites over it and send it away for Azazel into the desert” (Lev. 16:7-10, Moffatt).

Whom did this slain goat, whose blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat and the altar for the sins of the people (Lev. 16:15-19), represent? The answer is Christ, who was slain and whose blood was shed for the forgiveness of our sins (Heb. 9:12, 22-26).

But Christ’s death has not completed the job of making atonement for the sins of humanity. Why? Because Satan, the god of this world, has blinded the minds of most people. Consequently, mankind rejects the true Gospel, which includes accepting the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and living a righteous life (II Cor. 4:3-4, Rev. 12:9).

So how will the job of atonement be completed? How will mankind be made at one with God?

The answer is revealed through the symbolism of the live goat — the azazel, in Hebrew.

Says The Comprehensive Commentary: “[According to] the oldest opinions of the Hebrews and Christians … Azazel is the name of the Devil … the word signified the goat which went away.” The Azazel was the goat that was sent into the wilderness.

This Azazel is sometimes referred to as the “escape goat” or “scapegoat.” But these terms make the meaning unclear. Scapegoat has come to mean “one who bears blame or guilt for others.” This is not the case with Satan. He is guilty of influencing mankind into disobeying God (Eph. 2:2). And he will be punished for it — Satan will bear his own guilt! He will not be allowed to escape.

Symbolism,

The live goat was brought before Aaron, who, as we have seen, is a type of Jesus Christ, our High Priest. Aaron laid hands on this goat, confessing upon it the people’s sins. Then it was led by another individual into the wilderness where it was released (Lev. 16:20-22).

How is this symbolism going to be fulfilled? Jesus is coming to this earth again, this time to rule. He will order Satan bound and taken to a place of restraint for a thousand years (Rev. 20:1-3).

The world will then become free of Satan’s influence and responsive to God’s way of life; man’s sins will be laid to Satan’s charge. The change will be remarkable. Humanity as a whole will accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and live according to God’s law (Isa. 11:9). Finally, there will be universal peace, joy and happiness (Jer. 31:12-14).

What about fasting?

In addition to the symbolism of the sacrifices, there is another aspect of this Festival that we must consider. Notice Leviticus 16:29:

“This shall be a statute forever for you: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether a native of your own country or a stranger who sojourns among you.”

What does it mean “afflict your soul”? The word afflict (Hebrew anah) is translated “humble” in Psalm 35:13, where David said, “I humbled myself with fasting.” So afflicting oneself means to fast.

Biblical examples show that fasting means to go without food and water (Deut. 9:9, 18, Esther 4:16, Acts 9:8-9). This is the only day when we are commanded to fast. It is so important that in the New Testament we see this Festival referred to as “the Fast” (Acts 27:9).

The purpose of fasting is to humble ourselves, to see our insignificance and realize our need for and utter dependence on God (Jas. 4:9-10). God does not hold us guiltless for the sins that Satan influences us to commit. We bear a responsibility for yielding to Satan’s temptations.

God wants you to examine yourself so you will recognize your shortcomings and overcome them. These are the conditions of a proper fast that will cause God to intervene on your behalf.

Keep this Festival

The Day of Atonement, then, is a solemn, serious occasion, and yet, because of what it pictures, this Festival is a tremendously positive and encouraging day.

Besides revealing vital understanding about God’s plan of salvation, the Day of Atonement can bring you much closer to God, if you obey God’s command to observe this day.

Don’t deny yourself this relationship with God. Decide now to keep the Day of Atonement!

Source: The Good News, August 1983

September 26, 2009

Scientists Pull an About-Face On Global Warming

duck“Imagine if Pope Benedict gave a speech saying the Catholic Church has had it wrong all these centuries; there is no reason priests shouldn’t marry. That might generate the odd headline, no? … When a leading proponent for one point of view suddenly starts batting for the other side, it’s usually newsworthy.

So why was a speech last week by Prof. Mojib Latif of Germany’s Leibniz Institute not given more prominence? Latif is one of the leading climate modelers in the world. He is the recipient of several international climate-study prizes and a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (ipcc). He has contributed significantly to the ipcc’s last two five-year reports that have stated unequivocally that man-made greenhouse emissions are causing the planet to warm dangerously.

Yet last week in Geneva, at the UN’s World Climate Conference—an annual gathering of the so-called “scientific consensus” on man-made climate change—Latif conceded the Earth has not warmed for nearly a decade and that we are likely entering “one or even two decades during which temperatures cool.” …

“How much?” he wondered before the assembled delegates. “The jury is still out.” But it is increasingly clear that global warming is on hiatus for the time being. And that is not what the UN, the alarmist scientists or environmentalists predicted. For the past dozen years, since the Kyoto accords were signed in 1997, it has been beaten into our heads with the force and repetition of the rowing drum on a slave galley that the Earth is warming and will continue to warm rapidly through this century until we reach deadly temperatures around 2100.While they deny it now, the facts to the contrary are staring them in the face: None of the alarmist drummers ever predicted anything like a 30-year pause in their apocalyptic scenario.

Latif says he expects warming to resume in 2020 or 2030. …”

Who knew?

Source: Calgary Herald, September 19, 2009

September 25, 2009

Russia, China And Europe: The Prophecied Clash To Come!

Much of the framework of all prophecy is found in two prophetic books—the books of Daniel and Revelation. But only in Revelation do we find events of various other prophecies correlated in order of time sequence” It actually details events leading to the return of Jesus Christ; events symbolized by seven seals, seven trumpets and seven vials. before I begin, I will visually lay out the story flow of the Book of Revelation:

Book Of Revelation Story Flow

7 Seals:

  1. False prophets
  2. War
  3. Famine
  4. Pestilence – these first 4 seals are the 4 horsemen of (Rev. 6:1-8)
  5. Tribulation – (Rev. 6:9-11)
  6. Heavenly Signs – (Rev. 6:12-14)
  7. 7 Trumpetsbeginning of the Day of the Lord
  • 1st trumpet – Injury to the earth – (Rev. 8:7)
  • 2nd trumpet – Injury to the sea – (Rev. 8:8-9)
  • 3rd trumpet – Injury to rivers – (Rev. 810-11)
  • 4th trumpet – Injury to heavenly lights – (Rev. 8:12)
  • 5th trumpet or 1st woe – attack of beast power – (Rev. 9:1-12)
  • 6th trumpet or 2nd woe – Asian counter strike – (Rev. 9:13-19)
  • 7th trumpet or third woeSeven Last Plaques
  1. Sores on those who accept the mark of the beast (Rev. 16:2)
  2. Sea turns to blood and all sea creatures die (Rev. 16:3)
  3. Rivers turn to blood (Rev. 16:4-7)
  4. Sun scorches humanity (Rev. 16:8-9)
  5. Beast’s seat of government afflicted (Rev. 16:10-11)
  6. Euphrates dries up, armies gather at Armageddon (Joel 3:9-17, Rev. 16:12-16)
  7. Great earthquake and hail (Rev. 16:17-21)

The  seven seals, seven trumpets and seven vials portray a progression of catastrophic plagues God will inflict on mankind. These three world shaking events summed up are:

  1. The Great Tribulation
  2. The heavenly signs in the sun and moon and stars (immediately following the Tribulation)
  3. The Day of the Lord

So let’s break these down in order.

The Great Tribulation (the first of three world shaking events)

The first four seals in Revelation 6:1-8 are:

  1. False religion
  2. War
  3. Famine
  4. Pestilence

These lead to the fifth seal, the Great Tribulation—the time of Satan’s wrath – described in Revelation 6:9-11 and other prophecies. The Tribulation  will last for 2½ years.

The Heavenly Signs (the second of three world shaking events)

In Revelation 6:12-14 it says:

“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.”

The heavenly signs signify the sixth seal of Revelation 6:12-14.

The Day Of The Lord (the third of three world shaking events)

This is the Day of the Lord—the time of God’s wrath, when God punishes mankind for their rebellion against Him and His government with plagues. Here he is trying to bring all sinners (who survive the previous disasters) to repentance (verses 15-17).

The Day of the Lord lasts for one year, but it is NOT the last year of the 3½-year period we read of, and is NOT a part of the Great Tribulation. It is a combination of the Great Tribulation, the Heavenly Signs and the Day of the Lord which collectively make up the 3½‑year period called “a time, and times, and half a time” (Revelation 12:14).

The beginning of the day of the Lord is at the opening of the seventh and final seal:

“And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets” (Revelation 8:1-2).

These seven trumpet blasts occur after the seventh seal is opened during the Day of the Lord. They symbolize plagues sent from God as He intervenes in the affairs of mankind! This is the result of people refusing to listen to God and repent of their sins.

  • The first four trumpet blasts of Rev. 8 destroy the environment, making living conditions on Earth unbearable.
  • The fifth trumpet (also called the first woe) signifies world domination by a European beast power. Daniel 11:40 (speaking of the first woe) speaks of a clash (in this end time) between that European empire (the King of the North) and the King of the South, a radical Middle Eastern power (modern Iran).

Verses 40-41 speak of the Great Tribulation, when this European Beast Power will enter into the glorious land (called Israel today) and overthrow many nations. However, the spectacular military success of the beast power in the Middle East will be short lived:

“But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him …” (verse 44). If we see the modern nation of Israel as a reference point, we have to look north and east on a map, coming directly to Russia and China!

After destroying the radical Middle eastern power (King of the South), the beast power (King of the North), will be troubled by China and Russia in the east and north. This scripture is speaking of a massive clash between these two world superpowers, with the king of the north launching a preemptive strike against the Asian foe:

“Therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.”

This attack (the first woe of Rev. 9:1-11) is described as the beginning of all-out war between these two superpowers to determine world rule. The biblical language used is symbolic, because the apostle John had to use terminology of his day to describe technology of the future.

For example, verses 3 and 7-10 state that locusts “came upon the Earth with power in their tails like a scorpion.” This could merely be describing modern military helicopters firing missiles during an all out, five month military attack on the inhabitants of the earth. All is spearheaded by the devil, as verse 11 actually explains the king over these soldiers is Abaddon or Apollyon, which are names of Satan.

The Second Woe

Continuing in Revelation 9:

  • The sixth trumpet of verses 12-13 (also called the second woe) sounds. Four angels are released specifically to amass an almost incomprehensibly large, 200-million-man army (verses 15-16).

Most Bible critics argue that it would be impossible to assemble an army this size. But the current population in China is over 1.3 billion. Russia has 142 million, India with 1.1 billion people has the fourth-largest army in the world. Japan, the nations of Southeast Asia, and the former Soviet republics could all be probable participants in this alliance. Adding up the populations, there will easily be a total approaching 3 billion people from which to make up an army of 200 million! It is hardly unrealistic to think these combined countries could not muster an army of 200 million men.

Joel 2:4 also speaks of this Asiatic force (there called God’s army) during what is titled an event in the Day of the Eternal. It is actually God who will inspire it to wreak havoc on the European beast power with a counterattack and obliterate it. The end result is the death of “the third part of men” (Revelation 9:15). Of course such a scenario has never transpired and it takes the awesome destructive power of modern super-weapons to achieve such carnage.

Babylon Falls

Jeremiah 50 also adds details to this story, now calling the political-religious system of the King of the North by the name of Babylon, though historically it was known as the “Holy” Roman Empire.

In verse 3, God says He will bring a nation out of the North which will make it desolate. Again, the massive Asiatic counterattack will overwhelm the beast power. This is the second woe.

And verse 9 states that it will be an assembly o many nations, which could only be Russia and China, along with various other nations which will join this power bloc. The devastating collapse of the Babylonian system, the beast power, is further described in Revelation 18:2-19.

These Russians and Chinese armies will be ruthless. To “slay the third part of men”, there can be no doubt that they will attack with nuclear weapons! In verse 15, God says this act is His vengeance, because the people of this beast power have sinned against him (Revelation 18:5-6). Revelation 18 and Jeremiah 50:29 show that Babylon is destroyed in the space of one hour!

Unbelievably, the last two verses of Revelation 9  reveal just how hard-headed and stubborn man can be, even after such severe correction, as those not killed continue on with their lives, unrepentant of their idol worship, their murders, fornication, thefts and so on (verses 20-21). Even after most of the Earth’s population has been personally afflicted by nuclear war and complete destruction, they still are not willing to turn to God and His law!

The Third Woe

Revelation 11:14-15 now speaks of the third woe. Two of the three woes are complete and after that, the kingdoms of this world are to become God’s Kingdom. Christ will return, and God’s government will again take over the Earth.

But even after all the destruction, verse 18 says the nations will be angry and wrathful toward Christ. Can you believe that? And now what’s left of the beast power and of Asia will actually gather to fight against Christ at the last trumpet. This battle is described in great detail throughout Revelation 15 and 16.

The final trumpet blast is divided into seven vials of God’s wrath—the last seven plagues (Revelation 15:1, 6), sent upon mankind because of their hard-headedness. In Revelation 16:12, God dries up the Euphrates River to prepare the way for these armies to gather near Jerusalem (in a place called Armageddon, verse 16). There they will turn their attention toward their one common enemy—the King of kings—Jesus Christ.

There is wonderfully good news in the midst of all these horrors. Both of these armies will gather at Armageddon to fight each other, but will end up fighting Christ at His Second Coming! The armies will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them (Revelation 17:12-14). The conclusion of that battle will mark the beginning of a new, peaceful age for the whole Earth!

Ezekiel’s Prophecy

Ezekiel also tells us about yet another burst of rebellion to spring from northeast of Jerusalem, with the Millennium only just begun. As unbelievable as it sounds, the people of Asia will muster their forces for one final attempt to overthrow Christ’s rule!

Reading Ezekiel chapter 34, we find that, after the Day of the Lord, God will gather His sheep—those enslaved Israelites left alive after the Day of the Lord—and rescue them from captivity. This is when God will remove the spiritual blindness from their eyes and they will seek God’s ways. God’s Kingdom will be set up to finally establish lasting peace (Isaiah 11:11; Romans 11:25-26; Micah 4:2-3).

Dozens of prophecies refer to the end-time descendants of Israel being scattered around the world during the Tribulation and the Day of the Lord. But Ezekiel 36 pictures the remnant of Israel returning to the land God originally promised them, to one place.

Ezekiel 37:15 begins to speak of Israel and Judah as two sticks united together after Christ’s return. God will take them from among the heathen and make them one nation (verse 22), with a resurrected, spirit-born King David being king over Israel (verse 24).

Chapter 37 also  speaks of a prophecy referred to as the valley of dry bones. Much of it pictures a literal fleshly resurrection of those who had long since died, never knowing the truth. This resurrection occurs at the end of the thousand-year reign of Christ.

What happens to Gog and Magog (the Asiatic Nations)?

The Russians and Chinese are used to punish the beast power just before Christ returns, but as a result, they too become proud and haughty, therefore needing correction from God. He even tells these nations to prepare for a coming battle with Him (verse 7), after Christ’s return. God prophecies against Gog and Magog , stating that His anger is against them (Ezekiel 38:2-3).

How do we know this? Notice that verse 8 says Israel has been “brought back from the sword.” Here the people of Israel are dwelling peacefully (verse 11). It is the remnant of the Asiatic hordes of the battle of Armageddon (who were not killed) which descend upon the glorious land a short time after it has been occupied by the re-gathered Israelites. It will only be a land of villages at this point early on in the Millennium. Gog and Magog will see how God has blessed His people and will target the people of Israel as easy spoil in a blessed and undefended land!

Now think about this, because it really makes the mind reel. Even after Christ returns, there will not be peace immediately. There will still exist those who haven’t submitted to God’s law and government. They will learn the “hard way” that God’s system is fair and equitable and that they must submit to it to be blessed. Imagine, having to force people to be happy.

Yet that is exactly what the Bible says God does. Only one sixth of those who come to attack Israel will live through the battle, even though the y have been pre-warned (Ezekiel 39:7). The number of dead will be incalculable, and the people of Israel will be called upon to bury the fallen fighters. “And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land” (verse 12).

According to Ezekiel 38 and 39, this is the last great rebellion this Earth will experience for 1,000 years! Then, at the end of the Millennium when Satan is loosed for a little season, and there will be another—Revelation 20:7-9. Through both of these, God will not only defend and deliver His people, but He will prove that He fights and wins our battles for us.

God will make sure that His wrath is felt and witnessed throughout all the Earth (Ezekiel 38:18-20). He will have the nations of Gog and Magog destroy themselves (verse 21). Only through  blood, pain and suffering will God finally have all skeptics—those who do not accept Christ’s rule; those who do not know God, come to the understanding that He is the Eternal.

And here’s the rub. God wants us to choose life, not death! He does not like to see anyone suffer. Only those who stand with God now in complete obedience will not have to suffer in the future.

September 23, 2009

What Spokesmen For Science Are Not Telling You About Evolution!

Darwinsape-703382Is belief in a living intelligent Creator unscientific? Is the scientific method the only way to view reality?

The existence of a Creator is generally viewed by spokesmen for the scientific establishment as incompatible with objective reasoning and the scientific method. What guarantee, if there is a Creator, do we have that we are not dupes of “cosmic practical jokes” such as being placed in a young universe “created with an appearance of age”?

Has that Someone gone to a lot of trouble to produce fossils, even with worn-down teeth and arthritic joints, in order to trick us humans into thinking we evolved? Would a superior Being continually meddle with the laws of nature, thereby confounding the results of scientific experiments and making such results meaningless? These questions demand answers.

Was There a Beginning?

Modern science has made many amazing discoveries about our universe. These are nearly always presented to the layman in the language of evolution. But do these discoveries genuinely support evolution — or the opposite conclusion? Just what should we conclude from the evidence of scientific investigation?

The origin of the universe has been debated by astronomers, physicists, philosophers and theologians for centuries. Has the universe always existed? Did it come into existence at some definite time in the past? Many theories — theological and scientific — have been proposed and then discarded as new discoveries were made. In recent times, one theory — the big bang theory — has come to be accepted by many scientists as more consistent with the data than any other.

The big bang theory proposes that the entire universe exploded into existence in an instant of time. Physicists now claim to be able to project backward into the past to within one billion billion billion billionth of a second of the big bang (Science Digest, May 1981). Using known laws of physics, they theoretically tell what conditions would have been like within such a small time unit immediately after the big bang.

To accept the big bang theory, one has to believe that the entire universe came into existence suddenly and dramatically in an infinitesimally microscopic moment of time. Does that sound like the slow, gradual unfolding of evolutionary processes?

A few things bother scientists about the big bang theory. On the one hand, they observe inexplicable uniformity on the large scale, but, on the other hand, “clumpiness” on the small scale. There is also something they call “flatness” of the universe that requires special initial conditions. Moreover, the occurrence of the big bang itself seems to violate known physical laws.

In puzzling over these problems, scientists use expressions such as, “Someone had to time it very precisely,” “The conditions of the universe were specially arranged,” and “How did the universe manage to go ‘bang’ in such an improbable way?” (Science News, September 3, 1983).

So, the origin of the universe could not possibly be the result of a cosmological pipe bomb that somehow produced itself and just blew up.

Is there an explanation that agrees with the data? There is! The real big bang was a well-planned, deliberately executed act of CREATION! How would you expect a super powerful divine Being to bring forth an entire universe? With a small fizzle, a limp thud or a weak whimper? Of course not! The creation of the universe was accomplished with a glorious display of light, heat, matter and energy — a display that still reverberates throughout space and only recently has been described by scientists as the big bang!

Thousands of years ago David wrote: “The heavens declare the glory of God” (Ps. 19:1). The marvels known today — the incredible size and power of the stars, the enormity of galaxies, awesome phenomena such as supernovae, pulsars and quasars — tell us more about the glory of God than David could have ever imagined!

Age of the Universe

How old is the universe? The answer to this question is almost always misunderstood by creationists and misused by evolutionists. Creationists generally believe, falsely, that the universe is hardly more than 6,000 years old. On the other hand, many evolutionists falsely suppose that the great antiquity of the universe somehow “proves” evolution.

First of all, the Bible does not say the universe was created 6,000 years ago. It simply says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1, Revised Authorized Version). The physical evidence shows a universe and earth of great age. At the Grand Canyon alone one can see with the naked eye the results of geological processes that would require immensely more than 6,000 years to complete.

Further evidence from radiometric dating and astrophysics pushes the age of the universe back to more than ten billion years — or ten thousand million years for our British readers.

Evolutionists seize on these millions of years out of necessity. After all, they believe that given enough time, anything can happen. Apparently, some creationists also believe that given enough time, evolution could happen. Otherwise, why would they so desperately attempt to squeeze the history of the universe into a few thousand years in spite of stubborn facts to the contrary? Both viewpoints are wrong!

Necessity does not prove anything. You need air to fly an airplane. Just because you have air, that doesn’t mean you automatically have an airplane without the need of a designer. In the same way, just because you have billions of years, that does not make evolution occur. The great age of the universe does not in itself “prove” evolution or creation.

But what does the age of the universe tell us? Why would a Creator make it so long ago and maintain it? Not only merely to “declare his glory,” but for an astounding purpose!

The Creator is eternal. He inhabits eternity (Isa. 57:15). What better way to teach temporary human beings something of the concept of eternity, than to put them into a universe that is millions upon millions of years old?

Life Demands a Life

The earth teems with millions of forms of life — animals and plants of many distinct characteristics. Do these life forms give evidence for evolution?

In two previous articles in The Plain Truth (September 1981, U.S. edition; February 1983, all English language editions), we have shown the utter mathematical improbability of even the “simplest” components of life, let alone life forms, coming into existence and developing through evolution. Mutations and natural selection notwithstanding, there is no evidence that life “evolved” — the missing links are still missing.

But life does teach us something about the Creator, something very important, which neither evolutionists nor theologians understand — something fundamental about God’s plan!

Life forms reproduce after their own kinds. This fact in itself contradicts a basic tenet of evolution. (By the term “kind,” we do not mean the intentionally limited definition of “species.” For instance, there could be many species such as lions, tigers, etc., within a “cat kind.” But there is a total distinction between the “cat kind” and the “dog kind,” for example.)

Evolution requires major changes in already existing life forms by means of natural genetic reproductive processes. (That is, invertebrate to vertebrate: fish to amphibian to reptile to bird, monkey to ape and hominid, and hominid to man.) There is not one shred of proof in the fossil record that genetic changes of this magnitude have occurred — or are even remotely possible — by any known biological process. A careful study of the anatomy and behavior of numerous creatures clearly shows how preposterous such an idea actually is. Kind reproduces its own kind! Only the creative process could account for the geologic record and the contemporary world.

But the fact of reproduction after its own kind also contradicts the teaching of nearly all theologians about the purpose of God.

Does the Creator Meddle?

Would it make any sense for a living intelligent supreme Being to try to thwart legitimate scientific inquiry by “monkeying around” with the laws of nature? Would a Creator use cosmological trickery to deceive human beings about the creation they inhabit? The real Creator does not operate that way!

“The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens” (Prov. 3:19).

“These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him. … A false witness that speaketh lies …..(Prov. 6:16, 19).

The Creator would not create a universe or even a planet earth that was itself a false witness. That would hardly “declare his glory” and “show his handiwork” (Ps. 19:1).

Does that mean the Creator never intervenes? It’s very much like an airplane with an automatic pilot. The automatic pilot maintains the direction, speed and altitude of the airplane. However, the human pilot can override the automatic pilot at any time.

What we call laws of nature are like the automatic pilot. The Creator does on rare and usually unique occasions decide to override the “automatic pilot.” But there was only one parting of the Red Sea. If the Red Sea parted every full moon, we would certainly expect to find a physical explanation, not a supernatural one.

Spectacular divine interventions are unique and do not permanently alter the “laws of nature.” Similarly, miracles that affect an individual, such as a divine healing or an inexplicable protection from serious bodily injury, involve only a temporary or momentary alteration or cessation of existing physical, chemical or biological laws.

As more scientific discoveries are made, whether at the galactic level or the subatomic level, there is only more evidence of law, design, harmony and order — more evidence of an intelligent, ever-living, superpowerful Creator!

“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20).

So the next time you read about the wonders of nature or watch a television program describing some fascinating scientific discovery, don’t be misled by evolutionary terminology and bias. Realize that you are seeing the handiwork of a master Creator!

Source: Plain Truth, 1984

September 19, 2009

Jesus Christ: The Prince Of Peace Will Make War With Mankind!

"Big Ivan"- the world's largest nuclear bomb - http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Russia/TsarBomba1Big.jpg

"Big Ivan"- the world's largest nuclear bomb - http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Russia/TsarBomba1Big.jpg

Someday soon, war will be history. Your Bible makes that promise. Swords will be beaten into plowshares; nuclear bombs will be melted into playground equipment.

But guess what. That time of peace won’t be brought about through negotiations and treaties. It will come only after the King of kings returns and forces peace on mankind.

At this point in man’s history, there is no hope of peace. The nuclear club currently has nine states that have successfully detonated nuclear weapons. Five are considered to be “nuclear weapons states” (NWS), an internationally recognized status conferred by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). In order of acquisition of nuclear weapons these are: the United States, Russia (successor state to the Soviet Union), the United Kingdom, France, and China.

Since the NPT entered into force in 1970, three states that were not parties to the Treaty have conducted nuclear tests, namely India, Pakistan, and North Korea. Israel is also widely believed to have nuclear weapons, though it has refused to confirm or deny this. [Calls for Olmert to resign after nuclear gaffe Israel and the Middle East | Guardian Unlimited“. Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1970616,00.html]

Now, according to Bloomberg, “Venezuela[n] President Hugo Chávez said the South American country plans to develop a nuclear energy program with Russia ….” Chávez discussed his nuclear ambitions with Vladimir Putin
during his visit to Russia last week.

But apparently there’s no reason to be worried about South America’s preeminent anti-American, terrorist-sponsoring nation acquiring nuclear technology: “We’re not going to make an atomic bomb,” Chávez said on state television last week. “We’re going to develop nuclear energy with peaceful purposes.” Well that’s a relief!

Then there are states alleged to have nuclear weapons programs or have been been accused by Israel or the United States of currently attempting to develop nuclear weapons technology.

  • Iran – A U.S. National Intelligence Estimate of December 3, 2007 judged with “high confidence” that Iran had an active nuclear weapons program. And the Associated Press from September 17, 2009 year says: Experts at the world’s top atomic watchdog are in agreement that Tehran has the ability to make a nuclear bomb and is on the way to developing a missile system able to carry an atomic warhead, according to a secret report.

Iran makes no secret of the fact that it wants to be the preeminent power in the Middle East. Domestically, both conservatives and reformers support their country’s right to develop nuclear technology, and many Iranian military leaders see nukes as a necessary supplement to Iran’s less-advanced conventional forces, which have been hampered by U.S. sanctions.

Is Iran a warmongering nation? Listen to their rhetoric. Observe their actions, not just in terrorism and spreading fear and hatred the world over, but even within their own nation, in crushing dissent and trumping the rights of the populace. Of course they are a serious threat to world peace with such a devastatingly dangerous weapon.

Other Threats To World Peace

  • Syria – on September 6, 2007, Israel bombed an officially unidentified site in Syria which it later asserted was a nuclear reactor under construction (see Operation Orchard) [6 September 2007 Air strike at globalsecurity.org.] The alleged nuclear reactor was not yet operational and no nuclear material had been introduced into it. Press reports indicated the air strike followed a shipment delivery to Syria by a North Korean freighter, and that North Korea was suspected to be supplying a reactor to Syria for an alleged nuclear weapons program. The White House briefed Congress and the IAEA on April 24, 2008, saying that the U.S. Government was “convinced” that Syria had been building a “covert nuclear reactor” that was “not intended for peaceful purposes.”[Statement by the Press Secretary]. Syria is closely watching developments in Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. If Iran and North Korea use the threat of nukes to deter the United States, Syria (which suspects it’s in the superpower’s cross hairs) may decide that it has little choice but to follow suit. Syrian leaders are also keeping a close eye on nuclear developments in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. If one or both nations go nuclear, Syria may decide to keep pace.
  • Myanmar – a report in the `Sydney Morning Herald‘ and Searchina, a Japanese newspaper, reported two Myanmarese defectors saying that the Myanmar junta was secretly building a nuclear reactor and plutonium extraction facility with North Korea’s help, with the aim of acquiring its first nuclear bomb in five years. According to the report, “The secret complex, much of it in caves tunnelled into a mountain at Naung Laing in northern Burma, runs parallel to a civilian reactor being built at another site by Russia that both the Russians and Burmese say will be put under international safeguards.”[Searchina, “Reasons for digging tunnels in Burma”, August 11, 2009]

In 2002, Myanmar had notified IAEA of its intention to pursue a civilian nuclear programme. Later, Russia announced that it would build a nuclear reactor in Myanmar. There have also been reports that two Pakistani scientists, from the AQ Khan stable, had been dispatched to Myanmar where they had settled down, to help Myanmar’s project. During an ASEAN meeting in Thailand last week, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton highlighted concerns of the North Korean link. “We know there are also growing concerns about military cooperation between North Korea and Burma which we take very seriously,” Clinton said.[http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS/World/Rest-of-World/Myanmar-building-nuke-reactor-says-media-report/articleshow/4846971.cms]

The Next Nuclear States

Japan – it has twenty-three tons of weapons-usable plutonium and the ability to produce weapons-grade uranium without much trouble. Sometimes described as a “virtual” nuclear weapons state, Japan has one of the world’s largest and most advanced civilian nuclear programs. It could likely have nuclear weapons within a few months of deciding it wanted them. It is the only nation ever to have nuclear weapons used against it, Japan has long been staunchly anti-nuclear. But the country has also grown increasingly nervous about what it sees as deteriorating regional security. North Korea’s great leap may tip Japanese public opinion, and some politicians are calling for the country to debate openly whether it should have nukes. The country could withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty with three months’ notice by claiming its “supreme interests” are at risk.

Taiwan – as recently as the late 1980s, Taiwan was within a few years of becoming a nuclear-armed state. But the United States and others insisted it back down. Taiwan now has no uranium enrichment capability, and its sole facility for handling plutonium was torn apart. Its weapons-grade remnants likely include fewer than five pounds of plutonium and two tons of uranium. But its scientific know-how has probably survived. As the military balance between China and Taiwan tilts increasingly in the mainland’s favor, Taiwan could decide that it needs nukes to restore equilibrium fast. Like North Korea, Taiwan can argue that it faces an existential threat from a superpower.

Saudi Arabia -in 2003, members of the government stated that due to the worsening relations with the USA, Saudi Arabia was being forced to consider the development of nuclear weapons; however, so far they have denied that they are making any attempt to produce them.[Norris, Robert S. and Hans M. Kristensen. “Chinese nuclear forces, 2006,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 62:3 (May/June 2006): 60-63.]

In March 2006, the German magazine Cicero reported that Saudi Arabia had since 2003 received assistance from Pakistan to acquire nuclear missiles and warheads. Satellite photos allegedly reveal an underground city and nuclear silos with Ghauri rockets south of the capital Riyadh.[http://nuclearthreatinitiative.org/db/china/nfuorg.htm] Pakistan has denied aiding Saudi Arabia in any nuclear ambitions.[25]

Source: ForeignPolicy.com

Table of Global Nuclear Weapons Stockpiles, 1945-2002

End Year US SU UK FR CH Total
1945 6 6
1946 11 11
1947 32 32
1948 110 110
1949 235 1 236
1950 369 5 374
1951 640 25 665
1952 1,005 50 1,055
1953 1,436 120 1 1,557
1954 2,063 150 5 2,218
1955 3,057 200 10 3,267
1956 4,618 426 15 5,059
1957 6,444 660 20 7,124
1958 9,822 869 22 10,713
1959 15,468 1,060 25 16,553
1960 20,434 1,605 30 22,069
1961 24,111 2,471 50 26,632
1962 27,297 3,322 205 30,823
1963 29,249 4,238 280 33,767
1964 30,751 5,221 310 4 1 36,287
1965 31,642 6,129 310 32 5 38,118
1966 31,700 7,089 270 36 20 39,105
1967 30,893 8,339 270 36 25 39,563
1968 28,884 9,399 280 36 35 38,633
1969 26,910 10,538 308 36 50 37,841
1970 26,119 11,643 280 36 75 38,153
1971 26,365 13,092 220 45 100 39,822
1972 27,296 14,478 220 70 130 42,193
1973 28,335 15,915 275 116 150 44,791
1974 28,170 17,385 325 145 170 46,195
1975 27,052 19,055 350 188 185 46,830
1976 25,956 21,205 350 212 190 47,913
1977 25,099 23,044 350 228 200 48,920
1978 24,243 25,393 350 235 220 50,441
1979 24,107 27,935 350 235 235 52,862
1980 23,764 30,062 350 250 280 54,706
1981 23,031 32,049 350 275 330 56,035
1982 22,937 33,952 335 275 360 57,859
1983 23,154 35,804 320 280 380 59,938
1984 23,228 37,431 270 280 415 61,623
1985 23,135 39,197 300 360 425 63,416
1986 23,254 40,723 300 355 425 65,056
1987 23,490 38,859 300 420 415 63,484
1988 23,077 37,333 300 410 430 61,549
1989 22,174 35,805 300 410 435 59,124
1990 21,211 33,417 300 505 430 55,863
1991 18,306 28,595 300 540 435 48,176
1992 13,731 25,155 300 540 435 40,161
1993 11,536 21,101 300 525 435 33,897
1994 11,012 18,399 250 510 450 30,621
1995 10,953 14,978 300 500 400 27,131
1996 10,886 12,085 300 450 400 24,121
1997 10,829 11,264 260 450 400 23,203
1998 10,763 10,764 260 450 400 22,637
1999 10,698 10,451 185 450 400 22,184
2000 10,615 10,201 185 450 400 21,851
2001 10,491 9,126 200 350 400 20,567
2002 10,640 8,600 200 350 400 20,190

US = United States, SU = Soviet Union/Russia, UK = United Kingdom, FR = France and CH = China

Notes:

  • US warhead estimates exclude a small number of warheads awaiting dismantlement and are accurate to within a few hundred warheads.
  • SU/Russian warhead estimates exclude warheads awaiting dismantlement or in reserve status. The total number of intact warheads is estimated to be 18,000.
  • UK and French stockpile estimates are believed to be accurate to within a few tens of warheads.
  • Chinese warhead estimates are probably not accurate to better than 50 percent, due to the uncertainty in the number of tactical warheads.
  • In addition to the above, Israel, India and Pakistan have nuclear arsenals, and South Africa produced six gun-assembly type weapons in the 1980s, but dismantled them in the early-1990s. Estimates of the composition and evolution of the arsenals of Israel, India and Pakistan are extremely difficult to make. Israel may have a stockpile of some 100-200 nuclear weapons, India 30-35, and Pakistan between 24 and 48 nuclear weapons.

Source: www.nrdc.org

“Not since the early days of the Cold War have proliferation experts and the general public been so attuned to the threat of nuclear weapons–and with good reason. There are more than 28,000 nuclear devices in existence today, more and more countries are acquiring the means to produce them, and there is mounting evidence that al Qaeda has every intention of using a nuclear weapon if only it can get its hands on one.

Once al Qaeda or another group possesses a weapon, deterring or preventing an attack will be all but impossible. Luck, as much as money and hard work, has helped prevent such an attack to date. A second, more complex danger stems from the proliferation of nuclear capabilities to governments. In the long term, the wider state acquisition of nuclear weapons dramatically increases the odds that one might be used, intentionally or not. This concern applies not only to so-called rogue regimes, but to key U.S. allies as well. Given the global insecurity of much weapons material, state proliferation also contributes to the risk of a nightmarish nuclear terrorism scenario.” [ForeighAffairs.com]

It is obvious we have a series of developments which not only show these weapons not going away, there are going to be a lot more of them. The world will  democratize nuclear weapons as too many states go nuclear and all hopes of eliminating them will finish, despite the naive efforts of US President Barack Obama. That is what human nature is all about. The Bible says if Jesus Christ would not return, all life on earth would perish – largely due to nuclear detonation.

Thankfully, once Christ returns, neither America nor Afghanistan nor any other nation will have to wage another war, neither will there be any more threat of war. As the sun begins to set on the Feast of Trumpets this year (September 19, 2009), it is worthwhile to remember that this day commemorates the return of Jesus Christ to prevent man from obliterating all life on earth. God speed that day.

Did Jesus Hide The Truth About Salvation?

1When Jesus came to earth 2000 years ago, it was not to set up His Kingdom (John 18:36). Christ did not, at that time, come to restrain Satan from deceiving the world.

Contrary to what many have been taught, neither did Christ come to earth to call everyone to salvation. Rather, He came to deliver His Father’s message – the gospel of the Kingdom of God. That message included salvation through Christ. But Jesus did not try to get everyone to believe this wonderful message.

Notice the New Testament proof: Jesus spoke to the multitudes in parables to make hide the meaning of what He was saying, so the public would not understand.

” And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand”  (Matt. 13:10-15, Mark 4:11-12).

Christ was plainly speaking ONLY to His disciples, not to everyone else. This point is made clear. In case there is any confusion about the point, the scripture says Christ spoke to the general public ONLY in parables (Matt. 13:34). It was NOT to clarify, but to confuse the issue to the masses. Why? Because it was not the time for most to be forgiven their sins and converted.

” And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?’  (Mark 4:10-13).

Even His disciples had problems with some of the parables and needed explaining. Those “without” means those not called at the present time – the masses. Christ preached the Father’s gospel to the masses as a witness. But He worked with only a few purposely called and chosen disciples, or students. They were the ones Whom He really wanted to understand the truth about salvation and His coming government on earth. And as it was then, it is so now – the message was only to His chosen people – His one true Church. It was not to a mass of confusing religions, of contradictory doctrines and squabbling denominations.

In fact, Jesus often tried to avoid the crowds that followed Him daily (Matt. 5:1, 8:18, 13:36, Mark 3:13, John 5:13, 7:10). He often told those whom He had healed not to tell anyone who healed them (Matt. 8:4, 9:30, 12:16, Mark 5:35, 36, 41-43, 7:35-36.  He did not want everyone to know who He really was (Matt. 16:20, Mark 3:1-12).

This is a point most of mainstream Christianity does not understand. For most of His ministry, Jesus actually avoided publicity. It was not God’s will for everyone to understand who Jesus was. Spiritual understanding will not be granted to the world until Christ removes Satan from earth’s throne.

It may freely be accentuated that Jesus Christ was successful in avoiding publicity, as after 3 1/2 years of preaching, and after His death, resurrection and ascension into heaven, only 120 disciples remained with Him (Acts 1:2-4, 15). The New Testament Church of God was started with these few disciples who would be trained so that they could teach and train others. Christ at first needed only a few teachers, so God called only a few at that time.

Remember, one can only come to Christ if God the Father purposely selects and calls him (John 6:44, 65). Now I know that some will ask, “What about one who really wants salvation – wants to believe in Christ – is willing to truly repent and come out of this world and be led by god’s spirit in a true commandment keeping Christian life. Do you mean this individual cannot come to Christ unless God calls him?”

Answer: That’s exactly what the scriptures say. Such a person is being called by God, otherwise he or she would have no such desire. However, most who think they are in that category have followed a false gospel, a false teaching and are deceived. They have a false idea of what salvation is, a false concept of repentance and a false idea of what God’s way is.

God foretold that He would indeed only call a few into His Church, and that His Church would continue to be small, and even persecuted (Luke 12:32, Matt. 10:16-17, 7:13-14, John 16:33, 2 Timothy 3:12).

So it is that from Christ’s human ministry until His return to earth, God has called only a small minority of people. God’s Church through the centuries has continued to be small – an “embryo” of God’s  new civilization yet to come. That Church is in training to teach the world with and under Christ in the World Tomorrow.

The Feast Of Trumpets Signals Christ's Return

barrettswanderings.blogspot.com

barrettswanderings.blogspot.com

Well, the annual Feast of Trumpets is upon us again, falling on September 19 on the Roman calendar this year (2009). This is one of God’s appointed Feast days, yet most of Christianity believes that God’s Holy Days were “done away with” — that they have no relevance today. But nothing could be further from the truth!

Is God’s law outdated?

It’s unfortunate, but some who consider themselves Christians are under the impression that God uses “planned obsolescence” when it comes to His law and His plan for mankind! Millions believe that Christ’s crucifixion “did away with” the need to keep God’s commandments, including God’s Holy Days, which outline His plan.

It’s true that God no longer requires certain acts of His people. For example, Christ’s sacrifice eliminated the need for God’s people to perform animal sacrifices (Heb. 10:1-6).

But man has taken it upon himself to declare obsolete other areas of God’s instructions that God definitely has not (Mark 7:6-9). Christ Himself said:

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matt. 5:17-18).

God’s law, including those instructions that concern God’s Holy Days, is in force today.

One of the festivals God commands us to keep is the Feast of Trumpets. Most professing Christians have not even heard of it. They have been blinded to this important Festival of God, though the Feast of Trumpets is designed to have important meaning for us in the 20th century.

Christ’s death did not at all do away with the need for us to keep the Feast of Trumpets today. This Holy Day of God is relevant now, and very much so.

Origin of the Feast of Trumpets

God first introduced the Feast of Trumpets to ancient Israel after the dramatic Exodus from Egypt, commanding them to keep this day as a Sabbath, a holy convocation (Lev. 23:23-25).

Notice that the Israelites were to mark this particular day as a memorial of the meaning trumpets had for their nation, both physically and symbolically.

God instructed them to use silver trumpets to gather the tribes for assemblies and to signal when it was time to move during their migration to the promised land. The Israelites were to blow the trumpets when they were preparing to attack or to defend against an attack. Moreover, trumpets were blown during God’s festivals and at the beginning of each month. Each use of the trumpets gave added meaning to the festivals as the Israelites understood them (Num. 10:1-10).

Since the Israelites, awestruck and trembling, had already experienced God’s tremendous use of a blaring trumpet when God gave them the Ten Commandments at Mt. Sinai (Ex. 19:19), they were familiar with the use of trumpets in correlation with momentous events in their lives!

Meaning of this Feast

This special Holy Day also forecasted the greatest event ever to take place. At the time of the Exodus, it was thousands of years away. But today, it’s just a precious few years ahead.

It will be a day of reckoning for the world. The Feast of Trumpets symbolically refers to a day of great black clouds and gloominess. And finally, the rending of those clouds, signaled by the ear splitting, bone penetrating blast of silver trumpets, and the blinding atomic lightning in the skies, flashing from the eyes of Him that sits astride a great white stallion. It’s the King of kings and Lord of lords, ready with His saints to make war on Satan and those deceived nations he has brought to this very day! This war will finally be the conflict that ends all wars!

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean” (Rev. 19:11-14).

Conversely, it will also be a day of great jubilation for God’s true saints. The saints will be resurrected into the God family. “For since by man [Adam] came death, by man [Christ] came also the resurrection of the dead” (I Cor. 15:21).

Notice verse 23: “But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.”This great Feast of Trumpets is only 14 days from the Feast of Tabernacles. This Feast day can be, if we are not careful, mentally and spiritually relegated to a lesser status than that of the Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast of Trumpets is only one day and seemingly doesn’t have, to some perhaps, the significance of the seven-day festival.  However, we have to eagerly look forward to the Feast of Trumpets, because it tells us of Christ’s very return.

Without instruction on that day, we won’t be able to be “AT-ONE-MENT” with God just nine days after the Feast of Trumpets. Nor will we be able to fully partake of the great eight days of feasting starting five days after Atonement.

The Feast of Trumpets is the KEY that unlocks the millennium. It begins the sequence of events that put us at one with our God and removes the destroyer. It ushers in the government of God and His Spirit-ruling family. “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned” (Rev. 11:15-17).

The Feast of Trumpets is a vital link in the prophetic fulfillment of God’s plan for His bride and for all who will be born into His family. It is the fourth Holy Day out of seven for the year. Four is the number of new beginnings. The Day of Trumpets sounds the beginning of the new age of the rulership of Christ and His wife—the family of God. All of His great saints of the past will be resurrected on that day (I Thes. 4:16). On the day of Christ’s return, all of our beloved teachers of the past who taught the word of God will be there: Moses, David, the prophets, the apostles—and all the loyal saints of God.

The Feast of Trumpets represents the greatest day in the history of this earth; the day of Christ’s return and the resurrection of His saints:

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (I Thes. 4:16-18).

Source: Good News, August 1982

September 18, 2009

Four Sure Ways To Spot And Stop Gossip

Filed under: Gossip — melchia @ 6:31 am

1It can be irresistible. A friend of yours speculates that another mutual friend is a pathological liar. You buy into it because the facts seem to point out the same. Then the truly irresistible happens. Because you were wronged by someone you know, you get mad. You vent your frustrations to a friend, someone who will see things your way. So you tell your best friend all about it.

It’s so easy to get sucked into gossip. It’s like a gravitational pull. So how can you be on guard against it? How can you be sure you don’t fall right into the quicksand?

Here are four questions to ask that will help you identify gossip.

1.    Is it about other people’s weaknesses?

If the answer to this question is yes, don’t listen to the information and don’t repeat it. To reverse this habit, you can defend the one spoken of.

2.    Is the information private?

If the answer is yes — even if 100 percent true — don’t spread it.

3.    Is the information true?

This can be difficult to answer. Even if true, talking about a weakness or something private can hurt someone. Speak the truth with an attitude of love.

4.    Is it purposeful?

Will talking about the person do any good? Will it benefit them? There are times when getting counsel about someone else will help him or her. Nevertheless, make sure that is your intention, and make sure you do it the right way (not by telling people about it who will only sympathize or spread the information themselves). This means you will probably be telling a mature adult, not a teenager.

If you are one who is really stuck in the habit of gossip or even thinking negatively of others, here is a sure-fire cure: praise. Find something praiseworthy about a person each time you are tempted to gossip, criticize, or listen to others’ condemnations about them. Take it a step further and verbally praise them. Praise can heal relationships. The change can be miraculous.

September 15, 2009

The Power Of God In Universal Vastness

starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov

starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov

It was just before dawn on July 16, 1945, and the world’s first atomic bomb was about to be tested in the desert of New Mexico.  It worked! In a split second, the world’s first atomic weapon released the power of 20,000 tons of conventional explosive.

Three weeks later, a second bomb was exploded. But this was no test. It was dropped over the Japanese city of Hiroshima, and in a flash of heat and light, the city was destroyed and 100,000 people were killed or injured. Conquered and conquerors alike were awed by the power of this terrible new weapon.

The power of the atom

What man did was turn a small piece of uranium — about one gram, or a 30th of an ounce — into raw energy. Scientists had long suspected that it was possible. It took the urgency of war for them to discover how.

But when they did, even those who worked on the project were sobered by the implications of the power they could unleash. U.S. President Harry Truman summed it up in a warning to the people of Japan the day after Hiroshima was destroyed. “It is a harnessing of the basic power of the universe. The force from which the sun draws its power…”

President Truman was right. Man had indeed harnessed the power of the universe, the very force from which the sun draws its power.

The atom bomb that devastated Hiroshima was a mere firecracker compared to the weapons of today. Now we measure their destructive power in megatons — one megaton is the equivalent of a 300-mile-long trainload of conventional explosives! But we have become so accustomed to such figures that they no longer impress us.

We should look again at the power of the atom. It is indeed the force by which mankind will bring himself to the edge of destruction. But there is also an encouraging and reassuring side to it. By splitting the atom, we learn — or could learn, if we were willing — a little more about the awesome power of God.

Before nuclear physics

For most of his approximately 6,000 years on earth, man has been surprisingly ignorant about the true nature of his surroundings. The ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece and Rome made some progress in science. But after the fifth century, man’s knowledge hardly advanced for 1,000 years.

During the Dark Ages, science, magic and witchcraft were considered to be much the same thing. Such scientists as there were wasted their time trying to find the elixir of life or a way to turn lead into gold. They thought the earth was flat and that angels pushed the sun and stars around it. Superstition rather than science guided men’s thinking.

Then, in the middle of the 16th century, knowledge began to expand rapidly again. Navigators discovered that they could sail around the world without falling off. Copernicus showed that the earth was not the center of the universe, but just another planet in orbit around the sun. Galileo’s experiments in astronomy and physics challenged some ideas that had remained unchanged (and wrong) since the days of Aristotle.

The English scientist Sir Isaac Newton demonstrated how physical phenomena could be measured and quantified. He made it possible for scientists to build on their discoveries, rather than conduct isolated experiments. Newton realized there was a system of law governing gravity, mass, force, acceleration and motion. This laid the groundwork for the advances that made our modern world possible.

For two centuries nobody seriously questioned the validity of Newton’s laws. In the 18th and 19th centuries it was considered indisputable that physical matter (the elements) and energy (heat and light) were separate entities that could neither be created nor destroyed. The amount of matter and the amount of energy in the universe were presumed fixed.

Matter could change its form through chemical reaction. Energy could also change — heat into light, for example. But matter could not turn into energy or vice versa. Or so they thought.

The theory of relativity

It was Albert Einstein who first understood that this was not totally true. He put forward a theory that predicted that physical matter and energy were not separate — that they were, in a sense, interchangeable. Matter could be transformed into energy, and energy could be transformed into matter.

This “theory of relativity” rocked the scientific world. This article is no place to try to explain in detail these incredibly complicated ideas. But Dr. Einstein summed them up with the now famous equation E = mc2 (where E = energy, m = mass and c = the speed of light, which is about 186,000 miles a second). What this means is that if you can transform physical matter into energy, the amount of energy produced is equal to the mass of the matter times the speed of light multiplied by itself (i.e., 186,000 x 186,000).

You don’t need to be a genius to realize that if this line of reasoning is true, even a small amount of matter can produce an astonishing amount of energy.

Splitting the atom

But how do you turn matter into energy? To do this, you would have to literally split the atom — or, to be specific, the nucleus of the atom. And that is easier said than done.

Scientists had shown that the atom, once thought to be the smallest possible particle of matter, is composed of even smaller, subatomic particles — neutrons, protons and electrons among them. The protons and neutrons make up a central core or nucleus of an atom, while the electrons whirl around the nucleus rather like the planets orbit the sun, only much faster — billions of times in a millionth of a second. (The makeup of the atom is actually even more complex than this, but this will serve to make the point.)

These components of the atom each have an electrical charge — negative, positive or neutral. The electrons whirling around in orbit have a negative charge. The nucleus is made of neutrons, which have a neutral charge, and protons, which have a positive charge.

Think of these charges like the opposite poles of a magnet and you’ll get the idea. If you have played with magnets, you’ve discovered that like poles repel each other, while opposite poles attract. It’s the same with electrical charges.

So, since the nucleus of an atom is made up of neutral neutrons and positively charged protons, what stops the protons from repelling each other — or, in other words, why doesn’t an atom’s nucleus fly apart? (Again, think of it as trying to hold the like poles of two powerful magnets together. It takes a surprising amount of strength, and as soon as you let up, the magnets immediately push themselves away from each other.)

There must be a force that counteracts the repelling power of the protons and binds them together in the nucleus. Physicists call this the “strong force.”

It is indeed so strong that, for centuries, nobody even suspected its existence. So firm was its grip on the core of the atom that no force available to man could even begin to persuade it to let go. Thus it was hardly surprising that scientists thought the atom was the smallest possible division of matter.

In the 19th century it was discovered that some elements had a strange property. They gave off radiation — or, as we say now, were radioactive. Physicists realized that the atoms of these elements were slowly disintegrating. It happened very slowly — so slowly and unobtrusively that for thousands of years nobody even suspected it.

Strange, isn’t it? For millennia, alchemists had wasted their time trying to turn one element into another, yet here it was happening naturally under their noses all the time. Uranium, for example, given enough time, will decay down to lead, a nonradioactive element.

Experiments showed that when one element is transformed into another, not all of it is changed. A very small percentage of matter is changed into energy.

But if Einstein was right and E really did equal mc2, that still meant a lot of energy would be released as an atom decayed. Just before the Second World War, scientists learned how to speed up the decay by splitting the atom with a nuclear reactor, releasing the power in the atom.

When a radioactive element decays in nature, a small amount of energy is produced. For example, one pound of radioactive uranium gives as much energy as is produced by 5,000 pounds of gasoline. But it needs a thousand million years to do it. In a nuclear reactor (or a nuclear bomb) the atom is literally split in two. Much greater amounts of energy are released, suddenly and violently.

In the reaction that caused the devastation at Hiroshima, only about 1/1000th of the uranium was transformed into energy — about a 30th of an ounce.

Think of the power that was locked into that speck of matter, when it was transformed into heat and radiation! And that was a very small bomb.

A hydrogen bomb is many times more powerful than an atomic bomb. It takes an atomic explosion to produce enough energy to start the reaction.

But when the reaction does take place, it is with a flash of light brighter than the sun. Millions of degrees of heat are generated. That is why it is called a thermonuclear reaction. With the making of the hydrogen bomb, man has actually succeeded in duplicating the force that drives the sun.

The incredible sun

Look up at the sun. What you are seeing is a continuous chain of nuclear explosions in a reaction of unimaginable power. The sun is actually a giant thermonuclear reactor. It is composed mainly of hydrogen that is gradually changing into helium. Deep inside the sun’s core tremendous gravitational forces, 250 billion times those of earth, compress hydrogen atoms until the heat and pressure force a thermonuclear reaction to take place.

Energy released is thrust toward the surface, but the sun’s great mass pulls it back. It may take up to 15 million years for the energy to jostle its way through to the surface and escape as heat and radiation.

Scientists estimate that nearly four million tons of hydrogen are transformed into energy every second in the nuclear holocaust on our sun. (Remember, it took only a 30th of an ounce to destroy Hiroshima.)

And then stop and think about this: Our sun is only one star in our galaxy of 100 million stars. And there are probably 100 million other galaxies, each with another 100 million stars. That makes — oh, never mind. The point is that there is an almost inconceivable amount of power locked up in this awesome universe that surrounds us.

God made that universe by and out of His own power. “For He commanded and they were created,” the Bible tells us (Psalm 148:5).

The power of God

How can we even begin to comprehend the power that God has available? How much energy had to be held together to forge the atoms of even the most commonplace and seemingly insignificant of God’s creations — a sparrow, a spider or a leaf?

If all the energy compacted in a gram of matter could be released, it would supply as much energy as the Hoover Dam produces in about 18 and a half hours. Put another way, the matter in a 150-pound person, if converted completely to energy, would supply as much energy as Hoover Dam could produce in 144 years.

Yet God made giant stars 1,000 times the size of our sun! Can we ever begin to appreciate just how great God is? No wonder He could never allow mortal man to see the full power that radiates from Him. Nothing made of flesh and blood could survive that experience.

But God has, through His creation, given us hints, mere suggestions, of the immensity of His power. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they [those who don’t or won’t believe in God] are without excuse,” wrote Paul (Romans 1:20).

The physical things God has made can teach us — if we have eyes to see. But, sad to say, many scientists today have rejected the very idea of God.

Never before have they known so much about the universe. Never before has there been more reason to believe in a Creator. Not so long ago, sailors were afraid to sail over the horizon for fear they would fall off the earth. Now we travel into space routinely, discovering, measuring, analyzing and quantifying. And every breakthrough leads inexorably toward one conclusion — that there must have been a time when all that we see began.

But that implies a Creator, and that is something that many scientists cannot — or will not — admit. And so they “became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (verse 21).

Perhaps if scientists had been willing to acknowledge the awesome power of God, they would never have dared tamper with those forces that bind the universe together.

In God’s hands, those forces are under control and are used only to do good. He has carefully regulated the inferno on the sun so that it makes life possible on earth.

But what has man done with nuclear power? Certainly there have been numerous peaceful industrial applications, although some argue that even these are hazardous. But our potential to split the atom is also lurking in the warheads of the weapons that will destroy all life if they ever are used.

Those weapons may be even more destructive than we dare think. President Truman threatened a “rain of ruin” on Japan. He didn’t know then that those relatively little bombs were paving the way for a possible nuclear winter that would eventually eliminate those who survived the initial blasts of nuclear bombs.

While the human heart is ruled by anger, lust and greed, it would be wiser to leave the “basic power of the universe” alone.

But it’s too late now. Once the first atomic bomb went off successfully, the die was cast. A chain reaction began. The bombs got bigger, and Bible prophecy tells us that man will use the principle of E = mc2 to batter the earth to the point where it can no longer sustain life.

Then, and only then, will the people of this world look out to the heavens and ask once again, “My God, what have we done?” 

Psalm 19

King Davis stated in Psalm 19: “The law of God is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure… the statutes of the Lord are right… the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes… by them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:7-11).

David knew that God rules His Kingdom and regulates His power with the great law of love. Before humans can inherit God’s Kingdom, they must show that they will live in obedience to that law. Only then can God be sure that the great reserves of power will always be used for good and peaceful purposes.

So God watches us now, while we are still relatively powerless, to see how we live. He expects us to take seriously even the smallest details of His law, which is far more binding than even the strong force that holds the earth together, or the power that constrains the energy locked in the stars. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away,” said Jesus Christ (Luke 21:33).

King David believed that. And so, when this righteous king looked into the heavens, he was filled with longing for the time when he could share that splendor as a born child of God. But he knew he had to qualify, and he knew he needed help. So he prayed, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).

God did help David. He gave him power — not the power of the atom, but the even greater power of the Holy Spirit. He began the greatest reaction process of all — the transformation of the very nature of David. One day, David will be resurrected in power and glory.

God will do the same for you. He will share His Spirit with you — just a little, for now. But you must use it properly — to overcome, to obey God’s law, to do good and serve others.

Then one day, you, too, will be welcomed by the great Creator God into His Kingdom, to live with Him in full brilliance and majesty and share His awesome power forever.

Source: Good News, 1985

Is It True Homosexuals Are "Born" That Way?

How do human sexual emotions develop? Why do certain youths develop into homosexuals or transvestites? You may be in for a surprise — or a shock! It does not automatically happen that a young man and woman become sexually attracted to each other. Nor does it automatically happen that they want to deeply love, cherish, marry and protect one another. These emotions or desires are not all inherited or innate in the human constitution.

Not Inborn

Heterosexuality — sexual desire toward a member of the opposite sex — is not altogether inborn. Nor is homosexuality — sexual desire toward a member of one’s own sex. Nor, for that matter, are other sexual feelings or fears about sex.
Human beings are not born with an inherited sexual orientation or sexual instinct that drives them irrevocably in a certain direction.

There is a reason why many homosexuals assume they were “born that way”; why they assume their sexual attractions and emotions are as natural to them as the color of their eyes. Genetics and hormones play a part in developing human sexuality, but not in the way many think. And individual responses to cultural, parental and personal experiences play a very big part in molding human sexual feelings. But, in addition, there is critical knowledge beyond biology and cultural studies that is missing in modern education about human sexual and emotional development.

Scientific sex research is late on the scene. It began just after the middle of the 19th century. Sex researchers have indeed gained certain knowledge and understanding about genetics, hormones and environment and their combined effect on shaping human sexuality. Yet, “the impetus behind the homosexual urge contained in the male bond remains unexplained,” writes psychologist C.A. Tripp in summarizing such research in his book: “The Homosexual Matrix,” page 53. But the missing impetus is explained in the pages of your Bible!

Humanity through the ages has rejected essential knowledge from the Creator. Researchers, rejecting revealed knowledge, are looking for answers to damaging human problems — sexual and otherwise — only by their own limited physical tools of discovery and reasoning. They look for answers in the physical makeup of the human body or brain when the major problem is a spiritual matter — a problem in the spiritual attitude, motivation and desires of individuals.

Researchers have developed theories to explain individual human sexual feelings, problems and motivations without understanding the true nature of human nature. We must understand this first. Then we can rightly use the added demonstrable discoveries of human sexual research.

Why has humanity been plagued with so many sexual problems? Why sexual fears and phobias? Why so many unhappy intimate marital relationships? Why so many damaging feelings among human beings and between the sexes?

The Great Deceiver

Since the beginning of time, Satan has worked in human cultures to pervert attitudes, emotions and relationships. He implants selfish moods and attitudes which humans believe are only inborn feelings. Some human minds, during early childhood, have allowed and accepted wrong moods or feelings of attraction to the same sex. This process starts so early in some that many homosexuals and lesbians think these are totally inborn human feelings.

Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden and from contact with God’s Spirit. Ever since, humanity, as a whole, has been cut off from God’s Spirit, which would have guided them in the right ways of living and to life itself.
Mankind was given 6,000 years to develop societies under Satan’s sway and experience the results. The terrible results are recorded in the Bible, and, frequently, secular history. Genesis, the introductory book of the Bible, alone records the experience and tragic consequences of almost every type of wrong human and sexual act — as a warning to humanity in all generations. But much of humanity has refused to learn. Human beings today are merely repeating these ugly experiences of previous generations — though we like to think of many of them as new.

Through the ages God has called a few people to walk in his ways. God gave his laws and inspired the Bible (II Tim. 3:16) so mankind would not be totally without knowledge of the way they should live. So they could, if they wanted to understand, find the cause of human problems.

Most humans though have rejected such knowledge. They have failed to heed the instruction of revealed knowledge from their Creator. Many educated don’t believe there are fallen spirit beings influencing and deceiving all humanity (Rev. 12:9); they don’t believe that Satan is the unseen ruler and god of this world (II Cor. 4:4).

But the apostle Paul revealed, contrary to the enlightened education of this world, how Satan injects his wrong attitudes, desires and emotions into unwary minds:

“Wherein in time past ye [now converted Christians] walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.”

With what results? “… [fulfilling] the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind” (Eph. 2:2-3). There are no inborn limits or controls to what the human mind can entertain but that which an individual learns or chooses to restrain.

Here are the damaging moods, desires and attitudes produced by Satan’s “get” way in those who yield to them: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest … Adultery, fornication [sexual immorality], uncleanness [any physical, moral or sexual uncleanness], lasciviousness, idolatry … hatred … strife … envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like (Gal. 5:19-21).

Satan and his host inspire attitudes of rebellion, selfishness and lust in human beings. They can insinuate wrong thoughts and desires in minds that are vulnerable to them, even those of young children. But not everyone is equally vulnerable. How any one person responds to various thoughts or emotions depends upon his culture, upon his upbringing and experiences, upon his learning and internalized values, upon the strength of character. In short, the direction of an individual’s sexual feelings and values depends upon what thoughts and emotions are allowed in his mind and developed from infancy on.

How Sexual Sin Enters

Humans are born with sexual emotional capacity. If wrong and damaging emotional and sexual feelings take root in human minds, it is because humans allow and do not resist them. Perhaps they don’t realize they should. Perhaps they choose not to resist when they could. Perhaps certain temperamental or emotional weaknesses may make some more vulnerable to certain sexual temptations than others. Some wrong experiences leave deep impressions. Other misleading emotions, feelings and desires, repeated enough, become deeply learned and conditioned in the human mind.

“Habits are at first cobwebs, then cables,” goes an old Spanish proverb. Satan well understands this deep conditioning in human minds and emotions. He works to thwart God’s purpose through them. Though many deny it, all humans have been deceived (Rev. 12:9). All become, in one way or another, the slaves of various deceptive sins, pleasures and feelings (John 8:34; Heb. 3:13). They can’t shake or escape them all on their own power.

It takes strong spiritual power from God, as well as high human motivation and effort, to break the damaging cables of wrong thinking and feeling and then learn the right thinking and emotions revealed in the law of God. A person’s most important sex organ is his or her brain!

If a person is properly guided in youth by proper role models, example and teaching, he or she will come to respect and desire to adopt the correct sexual identity. Each will develop respect and love of the opposite sex and develop a right heterosexual desire. Each will also prepare to serve and love, in a right way, other human beings of all ages.
But sex education and emotional feelings are not primarily learned by formal instruction. Sex education and emotional feelings about sex automatically start from infancy with the way parents and other influential persons treat others of their own and the opposite sex, and how they treat children. Additional verbal or formal instruction merely reinforces learning.

Wrong sexual feelings develop not only out of a wrong culture but also out of ignorance. Many parents have failed to teach their children age-appropriate knowledge about sex. Hush-hush about sex in homes has reaped a fearsome price. Many young people are not taught any right and wholesome attitudes about sex. They are taught no right standards of sexual conduct. They are not taught that certain sexual practices are wrong or damaging and why they are to be avoided. They may have had improper examples of what it means to be a loving, caring male or female. All this may distort a young person’s view of sex and right relationships with one’s own and the opposite sex.

The seedbeds of unfortunate emotional or sexual feelings may be laid in the earliest years of life. Many young persons do not understand their feelings and emotions because they lack proper association or communication with understanding or concerned parents who could help to evaluate their feelings. Without the proper parental example of love, concern and guidance, wrong or misguided affectional feelings toward others can begin to stir sexual feelings and start a wrong pattern of association in the mind.

Millions of individuals simply follow peer practices or any exciting erotic emotion or thought that crosses their minds. They seem “natural.” But what they may not realize is that wrong thoughts and feelings (adulterous, homosexual or otherwise immoral) can be learned not only from others, but from their own uncontrolled thoughts — and these thoughts are not always natural, but can be injected into their minds unknowingly by an evil spiritual source — by Satan or his demons.

Individuals may have allowed themselves to respond to such emotions or patterns so early in life that they become a “natural” part of the way they have always felt. They look back on their life and conclude they must have been “born that way.”

Misguided Choosing

Humans seek excitement — something to fill the void, emptiness or loneliness of their lives. What they need is a sense of worth to themselves and others. WheneWrong Sexual Feelings, ver wrong sexual or emotional seeds are allowed and cultivated in an attempt to fulfill these needs, they will grow — in youth or even after one is married. Scripture warns us, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7).

To some, extramarital involvement or homosexual thoughts or acts (a person may not even realize what they are) seem a way to find affection, gain attention, recognition, security or money. Maybe they seem a way of proving sexual prowess or masculinity. Maybe they seem the only option available, given one’s lack of confidence or misled desires, feelings or fears about the opposite sex.

One wrong thought, uncontrolled or accepted, leads to still more. Maybe a person doesn’t know he should resist temptation. Maybe he doesn’t care. Minds that feed on wrong emotional or erotic thoughts in various fantasies will eventually have them ingrained as desires and emotions. Too many cop out and totally blame others for their problems and emotions in life.

One’s society or culture may be partly to blame. Parents may or may not have set a right example in their relationships and teaching. Satan may have tempted. But individuals also repeatedly allow themselves to respond to wrong ways of living and thinking.

Godly Sexuality

God is very concerned about the cultural and family environments of human beings. Family and environment are where the foundations of human relationships and sexual feelings, values and ideas are established. A variety of forces in the world is trying to change the concept of family life and the social learning environment so that any sexual experience becomes acceptable.

God’s laws and awesome purpose for human beings still stand. Sin — the breaking of God’s law (I John 3:4) — damages, arrests, limits or prevents full human maturity and godly development. It restricts the proper development of values, outlook and goals in life.

Sin, and sexual sin in particular, distorts wholesome feelings to one’s own and the opposite sex. It subtly destroys health and minds. It works to destroy respect, appreciation and ability to successfully experience the God-ordained family unit. It undermines the proper example and teaching that adults should be giving to children and future generations.

Wrong sexuality opens the door to rapid degeneration and physical and spiritual disease of the human body, mind and spirit. The end results are greater and greater social evils. Only if humans follow God’s revealed laws about right relationships to God and between the sexes can true happiness, fulfillment and social stability be achieved.

The Real World of Sexuality

Many unfortunate human sexual and emotional feelings exist — some too obscene to describe (Eph. 5:12). All these warn us of the great varieties of sexual/emotional conditioning that can happen to improperly controlled minds and lives.

The majority of males in most cultures are heterosexually oriented. But even heterosexuals allow their minds and sexual feelings to be diverted by wrong desires. Some heterosexuals develop a degree of homosexual interest (some feelings of bisexuality). Heterosexual males with effeminate (female) mannerisms also exist.

Feminine heterosexual females again are the majority. But there are also masculine-mannered females. The latter, however, may still be heterosexual and maternal in interests.

There are many masculine-appearing (even super-masculine) male homosexuals and, at the other extreme, effeminate (or “swish” type) male homosexuals. There are all degrees in between. The effeminate type are usually only a small proportion of male homosexuals but, because they are more noticeable, are often erroneously stereotyped to represent the whole.

Female homosexuals (lesbians) are often typically feminine in outward appearance and manner. Others are very mannish (“butch” or “dyke”). There are all degrees between these appearances and mannerisms. In modern cultures, not all homosexuals are readily discernible from heterosexuals by outward appearances.

There are as many variances in appearances, shape, personality, temperament, preferences in attractions and professions among homosexuals as among heterosexuals. The vast majority of homosexuals of both sexes clearly identify themselves with their gender, but prefer their own sex sexually.

Other Unfortunate Conditioning

Transvestites are persons who cross-dress on various occasions. Research indicates most of these persons are males with heterosexual inclinations, although some have homosexual interests. The majority of transvestite males identify themselves as males but have learned to get an erotic or emotional kick out of wearing items of clothing of the opposite sex, or in passing as a member of the opposite sex. Some can function sexually only after doing so.

This distorted emotional condition can often be traced back to early repeated cross-dressing by parents, siblings or by the person himself at some time. Such dressing began to produce exciting emotional or sexual responses that were repeated and cultivated.

God commanded the law of Deuteronomy 22:5 to prevent such distorted emotions: “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”

The law of Deuteronomy 22:5 also is intended to discourage another human distortion: transsexuality – males or females who feel they have the mind and emotions of the opposite sex and are trapped in the wrong physical body. Often such feelings have been traced back to very early childhood upbringing that deprecated or ignored the child’s true sex or caused them to experience or value only the feelings and emotions of the opposite sex.

Effeminate mannerisms in males may be due to rearing in a totally, or nearly exclusive female environment. Maybe a male wasn’t allowed or encouraged to identify with a male and male outlook and thinking. The person picked up certain female ways of acting or feeling about things.

Effeminate mannerisms may also be a way of portraying non-aggressiveness or reveal that the male does not want to be treated or threatened as an ordinary male may be. Many of these males still have heterosexual interests.

Effeminacy is harmful because it damages a male’s proper leadership and thinking in a family unit. The learning and conditioning of human sexual interests and emotional feelings are strong. So strong, in fact, that a person assigned the wrong sex at birth for some sex organ abnormality and then raised as a person of that assigned sex, readily develops the expected heterosexual interests for that sex even though his or her true genetics and hormone levels are of the opposite sex. These rare occurrences are sometimes not discovered until puberty changes force the true sex to appear.

The book:  “Sexuality and Homosexuality — A New View” by Arno Karlen, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., New York, contains other backgrounds and causes of damaging sexuality.

Sexuality Not Private

Human sexuality is more than one’s gender or a sexual act. It is not just a private matter as so many want others to believe. Human sexuality is a total way of thinking, acting and feeling. One’s sexuality affects the way one responds to his or her own and the opposite sex, to marriage, to the family experience and to every aspect of life. That’s why sex has so much impact on human lives and culture. It’s the reason why the Creator commands men and women to develop it rightly.

Source: The Plain Truth, July/August 1984

September 14, 2009

What is The Role Of Righteous Angels Today?

1In Genesis 1:1 we are told that “God created the heaven and the earth.” But physical matter — this earth, the stars, the galaxies — was not the first thing God created.  In fact, before bringing the material universe into existence, God created the angels (Job 38:4-7), called “stars” in Rev. 1:20.

Revelation 12:4-9 also speaks of the angels who followed Satan’s rebellion as the “stars of heaven.” And in Isaiah 14:12 we learn that Lucifer, before he sinned, was called “son of the morning” or “day-star,” as some Bible margins render it.

Angels are individually created beings. They cannot marry and reproduce (Matt. 22:30), but are called “sons of God” because God created each angel as a separate, immortal spirit being, and in that sense is the angels’ Father (Heb. 12:9). And so we find the angels shouting for joy at the creation of the earth, long before the creation of man. They were joyful because the earth was to be their home or abode.

However, the Bible also speaks of angels who sinned and you have probably not heard of that before. It is stated plainly in your Bible though (II Pet. 2:4, Jude 6). How many angels remained obedient to God? The Bible indicates that two thirds of the angels did not follow Lucifer (now Satan) in his rebellion against the government of God (Isa. 14:12-14, Ezek. 28:13-15). These countless millions of angels are God’s servants, helping to carry out His plan for mankind.

Appearance of Angels

The Bible also describes various types of angels whose appearance and function differ. For instance, there are cherubim at God’s throne (Ps. 99:1). There are also lesser known seraphim (Isa. 6:1-7). There are also “beasts” and “elders” surrounding God’s throne? Rev. 4:2-11. (more…)

September 12, 2009

Ye Are Gods

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Jesus Christ said, “You are gods.” What did He mean by that? That’s really an astonishing statement, yet if you talk to most Christians they would not understand what that means. And when Jesus Christ was trying to explain it to the Jews and others throughout history — the Jews anyhow, tried to stone Him, and tried to kill Him.

What exactly is it about that statement that makes people so angry? John 10 and verse 30 says, “I and My Father are one.” The Jews — like Nicodemus, one of the rulers of the Pharisees — came to Jesus Christ at night and said that they knew He was a teacher from God. Christ was continually correcting the Jews and everybody else, and they heard Christ say He was one with the Father. So then the Father, or their God, would also be correcting them, and that made them very angry.

Of course they should have been repenting and not stoning or not criticizing. If we’re Christians, we have to follow Jesus Christ.

Notice verse 31-33 – Jesus answered them, “Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

So here they were getting ready to stone Him again because of what they called blasphemy. They already admitted He was a teacher from God — God in the flesh, and saw the miracles He performed. How could anybody think this was just an ordinary man?

Imagine, religious people trying to kill their Creator over, really, one of the most inspiring messages in all the Bible? Verse 34: “Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods.?” This statement is not true of angels. Christ didn’t talk about them being His son. And certainly animals don’t have potential like that. Human beings, as with most mainstrean religions, do not realize a human being is a magnificent creation with an awesome potential. This includes all races of men, as God is no respecter of persons.

Now let’s have a look at the psalm Jesus Christ quoted, and give you a little bit of a context or at least one verse that leads into that statement. Notice Psalm 82:5:

They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: …

David is talking about the world in general here. And Christ quoted this very chapter… “neither will they understand.” It means they refuse to understand, and they go on and walk in continued spiritual darkness. Christ came to bring light, but they loved darkness, and they wouldn’t accept the message of Christ. It is the very same today.

There’s something wrong with human beings, and it’s called human nature. People refuse to hear what Christ had to say, even though they have an inspired Bible.

Now notice this amazing conclusion to verse 5. …”all the foundations of the earth are out of course.” Why? Because of this attitude or this human nature. That means all of the foundations of religion, all the foundations of politics, government, science, education, they’re all out of course.

Now truthfully, if all of the foundations of the earth are out of course (and this includes all of the mainstream religions), we’re talking about some major changes needed in our lives – in the lives of all on this earth. It is not a trivial matter. In other words, if the foundations are out of course, you’re building your house on sand, and it’s going to crash. It just simply won’t work.

Now, if you look around truthfully at what’s happening in this world, you’d have to say that’s true. All the foundations of the earth are out of course! Something is terribly, terribly wrong. And God says, “Okay, now I’m going to show you how to solve that problem and it’s not a problem that you can solve by yourself, take lightly or treat in a trivial way.

This is about our ugly human nature. Why are the politics on a wrong foundation? Why is science and education on a wrong foundation? Why religion? Because Christ said that the whole world is deceived by the devil (Revelation 12 and verse 9), and that he is the god of this world (II Corinthians 4 and verse 4). See, that’s getting to the heart of what this is all about.

In the very first chapter of your Bible, it says we are going to be made in the image or the character of God. That’s a process where we have to be willing to bring God into our lives and let Him rule us, or it can’t happen. From the beginning man has rebelled. Adam and Eve didn’t want God’s way. They wanted their own education, their own religion, their own politics. And God said, “Okay, but you’re going to run into problems you can’t even imagine.”

Now back to Psalm 82:6 to see what is God’s solution to these foundations being out of course:

“I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are [sons] of the most High.”

It says children in some translations. It should be sons. We’re sons of the most High. The word God there could read judges. That same Greek word is used over 1,300 times in the New Testament to refer to God Himself!”

Christ wasn’t talking about judges — He was talking about these Jews’ potential to enter the very Family of God! He was refuting their anger over His saying that He, a man, was God. ”

Christ said to the Jews, “if all of the foundations of the earth are out of course, how are we going to solve it? Yes, I say I’m the Son of God, but I also say you are gods! You have the potential to be God, or the Son of God, as I am a Son of God!”

Remember Genesis 1? It’s the animal after the animal kind, and then when He came to man He said, “Man is going to be made after the God kind!” We look like God today, physically, in His likeness, but we’re going to be made in His image or character. That’s where the solution is – not in going to heaven to waste our time strumming a harp on some far away cloud while looking with rapture at the face of God. No, Christ said we’re going to enter into and be born into the very Family of God.

And yet humanity does not understand it. All the foundations of the earth are out of course because of human beings who won’t allow God show them what their potential. Unfortunately, this means they will  have to suffer until they learn this lesson. The number one problem we have today is that of human survival.

Going back to John 10:35, we see it says the Scripture cannot be broken. The Old Testament and the New Testament cannot be broken. It’s God’s Word, and He’s promised to fulfill every single word of it! Why don’t we just believe what it says?  Because there’s something terribly wrong with human beings. God doesn’t want us to go through all of this suffering. He said, “You ought to become perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). This is not happening in this world, not even in organized religion.

God says we’re being greatly influenced by the devil. That is the problem, and yet people don’t even want to believe in a devil. But your Bible says the devil is alive, well, and very active, and he has led man into all of these foundations of the earth being out of course. That is the main reason there has to be a different government on this earth, and that’s what Christ is about to institute. He will return very shortly, and He’s going to give us that government this time that nobody’s going to push aside. Just before human beings destroy all human life on this earth.

Let’s quickly go back to Gen. 1:26: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:…” What it really says is that physically, we have those features that look like God. The animals on this earth do not. God made the the animal after the animal kind, and when He got down to man He said, “All right, let’s make man after the God kind.” We are here to become gods in the God Family, as God’s Son. We’re going to be the Sons of the Father. He says, “You are gods,” and that gets right at the heart of why we were created, and why we ought to be inspired and moved by these great truths.

President Obama: A Clear And Sinister Agenda

1Say what you will about the president, but from the very beginning he told us he wanted to completely revamp America. Apparently, most Americans didn’t really believe him. Now that he is changing the country, the stunned masses are professing varying degrees of shock and awe. Americans are getting exactly what they voted for—and a whole lot more.

But America should have seen it coming. A man is known by his friends.

As the president told America before he was elected: “If you want to really know what my policies are, look to the people around me” (emphasis mine throughout). So let’s take a look.

Meet Van Jones. Mr. Jones was a “special adviser” to the president. As the president’s “green jobs” czar, he was officially charged with helping stimulate the economy with environmentally friendly job creation. That was his official agenda.

But Jones had a very different unofficial agenda (I say “had” because he resigned Sunday). Jones is a confirmed communist. He often speaks on such ideas as social justice, eco-apartheid, and redistribution of wealth.

Speaking at the Power Shift conference in March, Van Jones told the audience that the whole human drama had been leading up to this point of time in America. He said America needed to completely revamp the whole economy to create justice for all and to avoid discriminating against various groups. He said we must pay women higher salaries. He said Native Americans had been locked out of the pollution-based economy and pushed down by the pollution-based economy, and needed to be lifted up in the new green economy. “No more broken treaties, no more broken treaties, give them the wealth, give them the wealth, give them the dignity, give them the respect that they deserve,” he said. “No justice on stolen land. We owe them a debt.”

At that same conference Jones said America is purposefully spraying chemicals on and poisoning our immigrant brothers and sisters to get the food we want to eat.

“What about our sisters and brothers that are in prison right now?” he asked. “We can’t have an economy that passionate about reclaiming throw-away stuff, but is indifferent to reclaiming throw-away lives.” We need to bring the people in the jails into the new economy, he said.

“This movement is deeper than a solar panel. It’s deeper than a solar panel! Don’t stop there. Don’t stop there!” he shouted. “No, we are going to change the whole system. We are going to change the whole thing. We are not going to put a new battery in a broken system. We want a new system. … We are going to change the whole thing.”

For the new policy makers in Washington, creating a green economy is so much more than just creating environmentally clean jobs. Green jobs is the red herring. The real agenda is for something far more sinister.

The agenda is partially revealed in Jones’s resume. He is a founding member of storm, a radical Marxist organization committed to creating a revolution in America. In a publication produced by storm, the group claimed it looked “towards the revolutionary traditions of Third World communism and found valuable and inspiring models for revolutionary change.”

Van Jones is also co-founder of the radical black empowerment group Color of Change. According to the Color of Change website, the government left black people and minorities to die in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina because they were poor, and because of their race.

Jones is also a “9/11 truther.” This is a group that claims the U.S. government was involved with causing the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He signed a petition calling for an investigation into the Bush administration’s knowledge of an impending attack. He has since claimed that although he signed it, he never read the petition. Van Jones has also stated that the real reason America invaded Iraq was to gain control of the oil.

Other views of Jones include the statement that George Bush sounded like a “crackhead” and that he looked like a “crackhead trying to lick a crack pipe for a fix.”

How is it possible that such a radical was allowed to become an adviser to the president?

President Obama’s other friends and advisers reveal the answer.

Meet Iranian-born Valerie Jarrett. Ms. Jarrett is a senior adviser, assistant, and close personal family friend to the president. Jarrett has said that Obama is like a brother to her. Newsweek said she was like a mentor to Michelle Obama. When Van Jones was appointed to the Obama advisory circle, Jarrett said that the Obama team “was so delighted to be able to recruit him into the White House” and that they had been watching Jones for all the years since he had been active in Oakland. Now “we have captured” all his “creative ideas,” she said.

Van Jones’s appointment was very calculated. The placement of other Obama power-players confirms it.

Consider Mark Lloyd, the administration’s chief diversity officer at the Federal Communications Commission (fcc). He too reads like a page out of a Marxist playbook. He is pushing for the government to regulate how much radio time talk show hosts of different political philosophies get. Specifically, he wants to tax radio stations and use that money to fund “public” broadcasting. The tax rate he has proposed? 100 percent of current operating budget! “It should be clear by now that my focus here is not freedom of speech or the press,” he infamously stated. His goal is state control.

More worrying may be the fact that Lloyd has publicly praised Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s socialist takeover as an “incredible and dramatic revolution” for the people. He then criticized the Venezuelan private media and property owners that opposed Chávez’s program of state nationalization. In this video, Lloyd implies that U.S. radio usage needs to be more fairly rebalanced by the government, or something could happen in America similar to how the Hutus used their dominance of radio to stir up mass genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda.

Cass Sunstein, President Obama’s regulatory adviser, has an extreme agenda too. He has advocated bans on hunting and eating meat. He has also proposed a fairness doctrine for the Internet. Under a fairness doctrine, the government would regulate the Internet to make sure that political voices from both parties receive “equal” coverage.

Carol Browner has big plans as well. She is Obama’s lead on global warming. She is also known for her membership in Socialist International—a group for “global governance.” The group wants America to subordinate itself to an international world-governing body. It also calls for rich countries to shrink their economies to combat global warming.

Then there is John Holdren, Obama’s science adviser. Holdren has advocated forced abortions as a population control method. He opined that government has the prerogative and social duty to enforce a two-baby limit. In that context, he said that “neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution mentions a right to reproduce.”

Yes, you can tell a lot about a person by the friends he keeps. In Van Jones’s own words: “Personnel is policy.”

There is a massive transformation coming to America. And it is going to be radical. Social, economic, geopolitical—it is all on the auction block—and we will all pay the price.

But it is not as if America wasn’t warned. Just before he was elected, President Obama cheered: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America!” There has always been a clear and present agenda. It’s just that few were really listening.

But God warned America that change was coming too. President Obama’s agenda is just the first sip of a very bitter cup that will totally transfigure the country. Curses are coming; you can read them in Deuteronomy 32. In the words of the president’s friend Jeremiah Wright: “The chickens are coming home to roost!”

Source: Trumpet.com

September 7, 2009

Is Intelligent Design Really Intelligent?

1

Why is it so difficult to get one answer to the question, how did human life begin on Earth? Think about it. Our prosperous and well-educated Western societies, founded on Judeo-Christian principles cannot come to a satisfying conclusion as to whether human life originated as a planned, purposeful act of a supreme, all-powerful being, or as the result of a random, gradual process called evolution. There can only be one answer to this question. Yet examining the beliefs people embrace on the subject is massively confusing.

  1. What is termed “old-earth creationism,” is the acceptance scientific evidence that the universe is billions of years old but nevertheless that God created all there is by separate acts of miracles.
  2. What might be called “young-earth creationism” is the arguement that the universe, earth, and all life were created in just six days about 10,000 years ago.
  3. Most scientists say that science cannot prove the existence of God, and believe in a Theory of Evolution the sequence of events involved in the evolutionary development of a species or taxonomic group of organisms.
  4. The Intelligent-Design Theory states that creation is the work of an intelligent designer (though he is not specifically named), and that the Earth is billions of years old, not the thousands of years that most “biblical creationists” believe through their “literal” reading of the Bible.

In truth, true religion says the Bible account in Genesis actually describes a re-creation of the Earth. Therefore man was created 6000 years ago, but the earth is also millions of years old.

Gen. 1:2 is not actually the initial condition of the earth. Without form and void is not a regular sequence of events, but means  tohu (Strong’s # 8414 – waste & desolation) and bohu (Strong’s # 922 – to be empty, ruin).

Looking at this a little more in depth through the scriptures, we can see there is something wrong with this condition. Isaiah 45:18 says God did not create the earth in vain – same word tohu (waste and desolation). Is there a contradiction?

No, we simply understand that something happened between verse 1 and 2. The word “was” is Strong’s # 1961 [hayah], which is better translated as “became.” So the earth “became” without form and void. Something happened to cause it to become waste and desolate. It was not created like this by God.

Albert Barnes’Notes On The Bible further states:

“On the second day Gen. 1:6-7 a new disposition of the air and the water is described by the verbs “be” and “make.” These indicate a modification of what already existed. On the third day (Gen. 1:9, 11) no verb is directly applied to the act of divine power. This agency is thus understood, while the natural changes following are expressly noticed.”

In other words, the air and water was already in place before a great destruction came about, and then re-made by God. The grass, herbs and fruit are new creations, (though modifications of existing materials in place), not having been necessary in the time of dinosaurs. These were now necessary for the nourishment and existence of man to come.

In the fourth day (Gen. 1:14, Gen. 1:16-17)  the words “be,” “make,” and “give” occur, where the matter in hand is the manifestation of the heavenly bodies (two great lights) and their adaptation to the use of man. In these cases it is evident that the word “create” would have been improperly or indirectly applicable to the action of God. It does not prove the universe was created a couple of days before man. The Hebrew words in Genesis 1 indicate the universe already existed then.

  1. “Create” means “bara” or to create a new condition or circumstance.
  2. “Make” means “asap” which is creating or making something from existing materials. Moses used these 2 words deliberately and carefully.

In verse 1, God created from new, but in verse 16, they were “made.” Whatever happened in the destruction, God was making it right again. So verse 16 was not a new, fresh creation but God was working from materials that were already there at the beginning of the universe.

Looking at verse 21, we again see that the original language implies creation from new, when the sea creatures and birds of the air were made.

In Genesis 2:3, God rested from the work He created and made. A lot of parts of the universe were already there – from the earth and universe.

The Bible is an old book and if it wasn’t inspired by God, you would expect to find scientific inaccuracies, yet this is not so. Scientists are just coming to understand these truths. Satan will try to confuse religion and science about the truth of God. We should read and believe what the Bible says – that the earth is older than mankind. And we should give thanks directly to God for it all.

Why The Jews Keep The Wrong Passover!

Today, the jews observe the Passover one day later than did Moses, Nehemiah and Jesus Christ and His disciples. Most of the Jews in Palestine in Christ’s day were also keeping the wrong day – beginning the Passover on the 15th of Abib, which is the 1st Day of Unleavened Bread. Why? When did the Jews lose track of the correct day?

At the time of ezra and Nehemiah, the Jews were still keeping the Passover on the 14th of Abib (Ezra 6:19). In Ezra 6:22, the Days of Unleavened Bread are mentioned as a separate event. So at this time (around 519 B.C.), the Jews were still keeping these days properly.

The confusion occurred when the Jews in Palestine were under control of the Egyptians from about 301 to 198 B.C. – after Ezra’s time, but prior to the time of Christ. The Egyptians allowed the Jews to retain their calendar, but the Egyptians began days at sunrise.

Over time, instead of begining days at sunset as God does, the Jews adopted the Egyptian custom. This change in the start of the day caused the Jews to begin keeping Passover (which is to be observed at sunset) on what the Egyptians referred to as Abib 14 – while on God’s calendar, it was actually the beginning of Abib 15.

Even later on, when the Jews finally got back to an evening-to-evening reckoning for the day, they refused to abandon what had become the traditional way of observing Passover.

September 5, 2009

London Mayor Calls For Day Of Fasting – To Better Understand Muslims

Filed under: Muslims,Newswires — melchia @ 5:08 pm

Mayor Boris Johnson is calling on Londoners to set aside a day for fasting, but certainly not for anything like national repentance or to petition God for help in dealing with the many problems Britain is facing. He’s calling on Brits to fast in order to better understand London’s Muslim community.

Johnson spoke at the East London Mosque and London Muslim Center to commemorate the start of Ramadan, where observant Muslims fast from dawn till dusk, every day for a month.

“I urge people, particularly during Ramadan, to find out more about Islam, increase your understanding and learning, even fast for a day with your Muslim neighbor and break your fast at the local mosque,” he said. “I would be very surprised if you didn’t find that you share more in common than you thought.”

Eventually, the Bible says, Britain will awaken to the “sickness” that is spreading from within (Hosea 5:13). When it does, however, it will be too late.

Source: Trumpet.com

September 2, 2009

What Happens When We Die: It's Not What You Think!

flatlandhowler.blogspot.com

flatlandhowler.blogspot.com

Public enemy No. 1! That’s how death can be described. It will slay us all, and at a time of its own choosing.

But paradoxically, although we all know we will die, very few know exactly what death is. Certainly death must be the least understood although most relentless enemy!

Yet it need not remain a mystery to those who will look into their Bibles to read — and believe — what God says. For God has not left us in ignorance about this important subject.

The basic doctrine

Since life is merely a temporary, mortal, chemical process (with man being made from the physical elements — “dust”), death is just the cessation of life. One who is dead has no consciousness separate from his body and feels no pain nor pleasure, but is as if asleep. Nonetheless, we all will live again after death, after a passage of time, when resurrected back to life again.

The usual teachings of this world

Most professing Christians believe that at death they do not really die — that is, cease to live in any form. They instead believe that at death only the body dies, and that the “soul” is then liberated to live on in heaven or hell (depending upon the moral merit of the former life).

Others believe in reincarnation, thinking that their soul, which is liberated at death, will be placed in a new body to live again, with this process occurring over and over. Scientists who believe evolution seem to recognize death for what it is (the total cessation of life), but they also err because they know nothing of the hope of the dead — life again after a resurrection. Even other beliefs about death exist.

Yet, surprisingly, these concepts are not from the Bible!

The Bible teaching

Perhaps the main reason why people, religious or otherwise, do not understand death is because, first of all, they do not understand what life is. The Bible makes it plain.

Genesis 2:7 records, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Authorized Version).

Notice! Man does not have a soul. He is a soul. The word translated “soul” here is the Hebrew word nephesh. It means a living, breathing, physical creature. The word carries no implication of immortality. In Genesis 1:24 it is translated “living creature” and refers to animals.

Further, the Scriptures say dogmatically that the soul can die and therefore cannot be immortal. See Ezekiel 18:4, 20 and Matthew 10:28.

The Bible nowhere teaches that man has an immortal soul. In fact, the immortal soul doctrine was adopted by professing Christianity from pagan Egypt through the Greek philosophers.

But note that man, as God stated, is composed of the physical elements of the earth and is dust. God plainly told Adam, who sinned, “For dust you are, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19). But men do not want to die, so they do not want to believe God. They do not want to believe that man’s life is merely a physicochemical existence that will run down and stop — die!

Hence, they choose instead to believe the lie Satan told Eve when he said, “You will not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). They believe that within this dusty body, as a sort of prisoner of the flesh, is an immortal soul that is unleashed at the death of the body and that continues in conscious life forever.

To be sure, man is not merely an animal. For one, man is made in God’s image and in God’s likeness (Genesis 1:26-27). And man’s potential — that of being born into the God Family — is far more incredible than the fate of any animal.

Further, God reveals that there is a spirit in man (I Corinthians 2:11) that gives man mental superiority over animals. It is this spirit that imparts the power of mind to man, and the power of moral decision, including the ability to grow in character. But this spirit is not the man. And it is not an immortal soul. It is something in man that gives man a dimension of life above the animals. It does not give him immortal life, however.

To understand death requires that we know that man’s life is merely a chemical process involving physical elements. When that process stops, we die. We are dust, and when we die our bodies decay and return to the dust.

When we die, all conscious thought and awareness ceases. Notice Psalm 6:5: “For in death there is no remembrance of You; in the grave who will give You thanks?”

And compare Ecclesiastes 9:4-5: “For him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing.”

The apostle Peter knew that even the righteous die and lose all consciousness and bodily presence, for he stated: “Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. … For David did not ascend into the heavens” (Acts 2:29, 34). Even righteous David was not an immortal soul that left his body and went to heaven. Even David was dust and decayed back to the elements.

Other scriptures supply even more detail about death, comparing it in a figure of speech to sleep (I Corinthians 11:30, I Kings 2:10). When a person is asleep, he loses consciousness and is unaware of his surroundings.

The topic of death is in some ways unique. Most people will not believe what God says if their senses tell them differently. For example, Adam and Eve did not believe God’s warning about the tree of good and evil, because the fruit of it looked good and desirable. Yet, in the case of death, people will not believe God when He says death is what it indeed appears to be to the most casual observer — namely, the cessation of life! People will not believe God no matter what He says, whether our senses tell us to agree or not.

But caution! Nothing said here means to imply that death is the end of all hope of life. It is not. An old saying goes, “Where there is life, there is hope.” But the great God says, in effect, that even where there is death there is still hope — in fact, the main hope.

That hope is the resurrection of the dead from death to life again. Notice Job’s question and answer about death: “If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come” (Job 14:14, AV).

Realize this: The demonstrable fact of the resurrection of the dead proves once and for all that humans are not immortal souls. If we were, why would the dead have to be resurrected? They would already be alive.

And see further Christ’s startling statement: “Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live” (John 5:25).

Jesus knew His statement might startle His audience, so He said further: “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth — those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation [judgment]” (verses 28-29).

The Scriptures are plain that all people will be resurrected, even those who will eventually be cast into the lake of fire to die the “second death.”

The apostle Paul chose to comfort the living relatives of those true Christians who had died by reminding them of the wonderful resurrection to come (I Thessalonians 4:13-18).

To alleviate their sorrow, Paul explained that the dead in Christ will be resurrected at Christ’s return, and that they — along with us, if we qualify — will forever be with Christ.

Yes, the truth about death is far less foreboding than the fanciful imaginations of well-intentioned but errant religionists!

Key verses

When properly understood, this topic of death can fill us all with real hope, for then we know the wonderful truth that we will all see our beloved deceased relatives again. Therefore it may be well to note specially the basic scriptures that describe the truth about death. Here are some of them:

Genesis 2:7 and 3:19 — man is a mortal being made from the dust. Genesis 1:24 — the Hebrew word translated “soul” in Genesis 2:7 is translated here as “living creature” and refers to animals. Ezekiel 18:4, 20 and Matthew 10:28 — the soul is not immortal; it dies. Psalm 6:5 and Ecclesiastes 9:4-5 — the dead have no consciousness. John 11:11-14 and I Kings 2:10 — death is compared to sleep. John 5:25, 28-29 and I Corinthians 15 — the dead will be resurrected.

Death is indeed an enemy, but through the resurrection from the dead this enemy is annihilated. Therefore Paul says in I Corinthians 15:26, 54-55 (AV): “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death…. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”

Source: Good News, March 1986

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